Published November 20, 2014
Neri Cardozo headed a shot past goalkeeper Kasey Keller late in the first half, then set up Aldo de Nigris' goal early in the second half as CF Monterrey of Mexico beat the Seattle Sounders in a CONCACAF Champions League game on Wednesday night, 2-0.
The victory kept Monterrey undefeated with the full six points in Group C play and left the Sounders still looking for their first point.
Jesus Zavala sent a long target ball into the penalty area that Keller came off his line to play. Keller got a hand to it, but it went right to Cardozo, whose header went into the right side of a wide-open net late in the 41st minute.
"We brought (Cardozo) in for the characteristics that we saw would fit into the kind of play we want to develop here," Monterrey coach Victor Manual Vicetich said.
Monterrey made it 2-0 in the 58th minute when de Nigris blasted past a diving Keller from eight yards away.
"The Sounders started pressing and playing at home, they know the pitch," Vucetich said of the field turf at Qwest Field. "Sometimes, it's not about quantity, it's about quality. And sometimes, it's not about possession, it's about effectiveness."
Monterrey goalkeeper Jonathan Orzoco made six saves. He got some help from the goalpost when Seattle's Sanna Nyassi hit it with a shot in the opening moments of the second half.
The one ball that got past Orozco — a rebound by Nate Jaqua in the 89th minute — was called offside.
"He is a keeper that is growing, one of the best in Mexico when comes to playing with his feet," Vucetich said.
For Sounders coach Sigi Schmid, whose team is on a six-game unbeaten streak in MLS play, but in the past seven days has dropped both of its Champions League games, it was simply a case of too many missed opportunities.
"I don't think we played that poorly," Schmid said. "On final passes and play in the final third, they were a little more clinical than we were. It's what we do in the final third — sometimes, we get a little too small wit our passing, we get a little too tight. We have to open it up a little bit."
Schmid figures it'll take 10 points through the six group games to advance to the knockout stage of the tournament — which gives the Sounders little margin for error in their final four games.
"It's disappointing to lose at home, especially in gme where we probably played well enough to get more," Schmid said.