Dempsey’s brace not enough against Club America in CONCACAF Champions League, Queretaro beats D.C. United

The all-MLS vs all-Liga MX CONCACAF Champions League kicked off as Querétaro faced off against D.C. United in the first match of the day, and the Seattle Sounders hosted defending champion Club América in what was an amazing tilt between both teams.

In the match that kicked off the quarterfinals, Querétaro (who qualified as the 2015 Liga MX Clausura runners-up) played host to D.C. United (qualifying via their 2014 MLS Eastern Conference regular season championship). The match was quite level with D.C. managing shots on goal, and from long distance too. The Screaming Eagles were close on two occasions with a header that just rang off the crossbar and on a shot from Taylor Kemp from outside the box that also found the woodwork.

It seemed as if Querétaro were slowly getting the best of D.C. United in the second half and it paid off with a spectacular goal by Yerson Candelo in the 71st minute. A nice feed to Candelo from Ángel Sepúlveda found him outside the box and he rocketed right-footed blast that went over a D.C. defender and found the upper 90 to beat keeper Andrew Dykstra. About 13 minutes later, a Sinha through ball was expertly brought down by Edgar Benítez in the box and executed a shot to the lower corner perfectly for the 2-0. D.C. United will have to go back to the nation’s capital to work out the kinks if they want to get back in this game. It will be hard, however, as Querétaro is in midseason shape and United has yet to play their first MLS game of the season.

Speaking of preseason shape, Seattle did not show any signs of rust coming off the offseason as they hosted Club América, the most recent winners of the CONCACAF Champions League. The home team battled hard from the start and it was an entertaining back-and-forth affair between both in the first half. It culminated in a phenomenal free kick goal from Clint Dempsey that gave the Seattle supporters a small glimmer of hope in the 44th minute, that is until Darwin “El Cientifico del Gol” (the Goal Scientist) Quintero equalized a minute later.

The second half got off to a quick start for the Sounders as, again it was Clint Dempsey who gave Seattle the lead. In the 52nd minute, Dempsey headed in a beautiful cross by Andreas Ivanschitz off a corner to beat América keeper Hugo Gonzalez on the far post. After multiple opportunities that América had, consistently blowing by the Seattle defense, they struck pay dirt. A cross by Rubens Sambueza from open play caught some Sounders sleeping, and found a streaking Oribe Peralta who outstretched his leg enough that it just caught enough of the ball to deflect it past Stefan Frei for the equalizer.

The game would end on a 2-2 scoreline and now Seattle has to travel to the most feared stadium in North America, El Estadio Azteca, for a difficult fixture in Mexico City. If the Sounders play the way they played this game, they might just have a chance of knocking off the Mexican giants.

Josh Espinal

About Josh Espinal

I am a multimedia journalism graduate from the University of Texas at El Paso. Soccer is more than a passion for me, it's basically life. Follow me on twitter at @joshbruv and see me tweet about soccer in almost every language imaginable.