MEXICO CITY — Nicolás Lodeiro scored on a a pair of penalty kicks late in the second half, and the Seattle Sounders rallied for a 2-2 draw with Pumas in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final Wednesday night.
Lodeiro scored the first penalty kick in the 77th minute and the second came in the ninth minute of second-half stoppage time after Cristian Roldan was fouled in the penalty area by Efraín Velarde. Referee Ivan Barton eventually went to video review and awarded the penalty kick that brought the Sounders level going into the second leg.
Seattle will host the second leg next Wednesday night looking to become the first Major League Soccer team to win the Champions League under its current format that started in 2008.
Juan Dinneno scored two goals in the first 50 minutes for Pumas, but the LigaMX side as unable to make the two-goal lead hold up.
Dinneno, the top scorer in the tournament, scored on the second chance at a penalty kick in the 38th minute and added a powerful header that left Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei frozen in the opening minutes of the second half to give Pumas a 2-0 lead.
Seattle halved the deficit in the 77th minute after Raul Ruidiaz’s attempted cross hit the arm of Sebastián Saucedo inside the penalty area. Lodeiro squeezed his shot past Pumas goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera.
Velarde’s foul on Roldan wasn’t first noticed by Barton. Roldan yelled for the call, video review intervened and the penalty kick was awarded. Lodeiro beat Talavera to the same side again and the Sounders were level.
Road goals are not a tiebreaker in the final, so if the teams are tied on aggregate after 90 minutes the final will goal to extra time. A win by either team in the second leg will give them the title.