Alonso’s tally gives Sounders upper hand against FCD

Frisco, TX ( – Osvaldo Alonso’s second-half goal gave the
Seattle Sounders the upper hand in their Western Conference semifinal tie on
Sunday as the club battled to a 1-1 draw with FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium.

After claiming the U.S. Open Cup back in September and Supporters’ Shield a
few weeks ago, Seattle began its quest to win its third trophy of the season
and had the better of the play early on.

Obafemi Martins created the first great chance of the night for the visitors
when he got in behind the FC Dallas defense and went in on goal alone, but hit
his strike directly at FCD goalkeeper Raul Fernandez.

But it was the home side the grabbed the lead in the 34th minute when Andres
Escobar worked his way past two Sounders into the penalty box and was taken
down on the slide by Marco Pappa, resulting in a penalty kick.

Michel stepped to the spot and blasted it past the outstretched arm of Seattle
goalkeeper Stefan Frei.

Seattle drew level in the 54th minute with some excellent set-piece work.
Pappa atoned for his rash tackle earlier by sending a perfect free kick
between the FCD back line and the goalkeeper, allowing Alonso to find some
space and nod it down and past Fernandez for his first goal of the postseason.

FCD manager Oscar Pareja brought on youngster David Texeira with four minutes
to play looking for some instant offense as Texeira has scored four goals
against the Sounders in his short MLS career.

Dallas had a late chance to take the lead in the 90th minute as Fabian
Castillo got free down the right flank and forced a superb save from Frei, who
parried a quick strike over the crossbar.

The fourth official’s board showed just two minutes of added time as the
Sounders held firm to take control of the series via the away goals rule,
which was instituted by MLS this season.

The sides will clash again at CenturyLink Field in the second leg of the tie
on Nov 10.