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COUVA, TRINIDAD — Sounders FC took a commanding lead in Group 4 of CONCACAF Champions League on Thursday with a 3-1 win at Caledonia AIA.
Seattle improved to 2-0-0, Caledonia fell to 0-2-1 and idle Marathon (Honduras) remained at 0-0-1. Seattle can clinch the top spot with a win in either of its remaining group-stage matches: Sept. 19 at Marathon or Oct. 24 when Marathon visits CenturyLink Field.
Seattle jumped ahead just seconds before halftime when Zach Scott beat a defender to the ball and knocked a low cross in front of the goal. Alex Caskey sent it inside the far post for his first goal in CONCACAF competition.
“I think we came out a little bit slow, actually; kind of adapting to the long trip and the new atmosphere,” Caskey said. “It was important to get that first goal at the end of the half, and in the second half we settled down a little bit and started playing better soccer.”
Seattle doubled its lead in the 60th minute, when Fredy Montero slipped a pass to Sammy Ochoa at the top of the penalty area. Ochoa put the ball into the top left corner, just below the crossbar. “I was trying to hit it on the ground, but it was a little higher,” Ochoa said.
Caledonia scored in the 66th minute, after Scott was called for a foul in the penalty area. Kareem Joseph converted the penalty kick, just as he had in Caledonia’s Aug. 2 visit to Seattle, also a 3-1 loss.
The Sounders scored again in the 69th minute, with Montero scoring off a cross from Caskey.
“They were very timely goals,” Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said. “Caskey’s goal right before halftime was a very important goal. … (Ochoa’s) was well-taken. He got us up. And then Fredy’s goal was timely because it came right after the PK.”