[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Nate Jaqua came off the bench to score the overtime goal by which Seattle moved into the Concacaf Champions League group phase at the expense of Panamanian club San Francisco, 2-1, on aggregate. FC Dallas also advanced thanks to a 1-0 win over Alianza FC of El Salvador on a goal by defender Ugo Ihemelu for a 2-0 win on aggregate.
Jaqua’s strike in the 98th minute at CenturyLink Field Wednesday provided a 2-0 lead in the second leg and 2-1 aggregate advantage the Sounders held to the final whistle.
Alvaro Fernandez’s goal in the 41st minute had tied the aggregate, 1-1, and a string of spectacular saves by keeper Miguel Torres thwarted Seattle until Fernandez got free down the left flank. His square pass was nicked by Mauro Rosales and collected at the back post by Jaqua, who smashed his shot into the roof of the net from close range.
Goalie Kasey Keller saved a sharp-angle shot by Roberto Chen early in the second overtime. The Sounders’ inability to score a third goal forced them to sweat out several attacks and a claim for a handball that the officials ignored.
Seattle will play in Group D with Monterrey (Mexico), Comunicaciones (Guatemala), and the winner of the Herediano (Costa Rica) - Alpha United (Guyana) series. Group play starts in two weeks though schedules have yet to be finalized.
FC Dallas became the first MLS team to shut out an opponent in both legs under the current format of the Concacaf Champions League tournament. Ihemelu rose above his defender to head Ricardo Villar’s corner kick into the lower left corner of the net.
FC Dallas advances to Group C along with Pumas of Mexico, Tauro of Panama and Toronto FC of Canada. FC Dallas’ first match of group play is scheduled for Aug. 17 against Pumas in Mexico City.