SEATTLE (CBS Seattle/AP) — Brad Evans headed in a free kick early in the 63rd minute, and the Seattle Sounders edged Santos Laguna of Mexico 2-1 in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series Wednesday night.
David Estrada scored for Seattle in the 12th minute, and Herculez Gomez got the equalizer for Santos Laguna in the 61st — only to have Evans answer less than two minutes later.
Midfielder Mauro Rosales set up Evans’ winner with a free kick from the left side, 25 yards from the goal line. Rosales floated it into the penalty area, and Evans went up 8 yards in front of the net, flicking it off the right side of his head into the back left corner, just beyond the reach of goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez.
Estrada gave Seattle the early lead with his first career goal. Fredy Montero lofted a target ball into the box from the left side, and Estrada ran in from the opposite side, heading it just inside the right post from the top of Sanchez’s 6-yard box.
Gomez tied it when he took a short ball from Marc Crosas and beat Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning to the back right corner.
The second leg of the aggregate-goals series is March 14 in Torreon, Mexico.
Santos Laguna is in the middle of its season in the Mexican first division, while the Sounders won’t begin Major League Soccer play until March 17.
The Sounders nearly had to change their lineup when four starters who live in Bellevue were caught behind a major accident on I-90. The four – Gspurning, Montero, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Osvaldo Alonso – arrived about 30 minutes before kickoff, and all were in the starting lineup.