Latin America

Sounders finish perfect; Tigres coast

Israel Jimenez (REUTERS/Daniel Becerril)
Tigres' Israel Jimenez (L) battles for the ball with Alajuelense's Diego Calvo.
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Sammy Ochoa and Steve Zakuani scored first-half goals and the Seattle Sounders beat Honduras' Marathon 3-1 on Wednesday night to finish 4-0 in group play in the CONCACAF Champions League.

Seattle had already wrapped up a spot in the quarterfinals.

Michel Brown scored late in the first half for Marathon, and David Estrada added a second-half goal for Seattle.

The Sounders joined Mexican teams Monterrey and Santos Laguna with 4-0-0 records. They will be the No. 3 seed for the quarterfinal knockout round next March on the basis of their plus-7 goal differential. Monterrey is the top seed at plus-15, and Santos Laguna is No. 2 at plus-12. Seattle's opponent won't be settled until after the conclusion of group play Thursday.

Marathon was second in the three-team group at 1-2-1, and Trinidad and Tobago's Caledonia AIA was last at 0-3-1.

Ochoa opened the scoring in the 23rd minute with his team-leading fourth Champions League goal. Mario Martinez settled the ball near the right corner flag, crossed it into the penalty area, and Ochoa ran onto it from 8 yards straight in front, firing into the back left corner.

Zakuani made it 2-0 just before the end of the 27th minute. He took a short pass from Jeff Parke up the left side, went into the box and curled a 16-yard shot around the left post.

Marathon got one back from Brown on a well-executed counterattack late in the 37th minute. Mauricio sent a long ball down the right side where Tulio Vega caught up with it and took it into the box, drawing Sounders goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann off his line. Vega sent it across the goalmouth, and Brown slammed it into a wide-open net from in front of the left post.

Estrada finished the scoring in the 76th minute.

Hahnemann, a two-time U.S. World Cup team member and 13-year veteran of the English Premier League, made four saves in his first game for his hometown team since signing Sept. 14. It was his first competitive game since Jan. 30, 2011, when he was in the net for Wolverhampton in a 1-0 English FA Cup loss to Stoke City.

American striker Herculez Gomez scored in the 73rd minute and Santos Laguna beat Toronto FC 1-0 on Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals for the third time in a row.

Miguel Becerra made key saves for Santos against Ryan Johnson in the eighth minute and Reginald Thompson-Lambe in the 18th. Colombian striker Carlos Darwin Quintero rattled the goal post in the 44th for the Mexican side, the runner-up in the 2011-12 tournament.

Toronto FC needed to win by three goals to progress to the next round, a tough task because the MLS squad played without injured starters Logan Emory and Darren O'Dea. Also, striker Eric Hassli missed the match because his wife was expecting to give birth.

Elsewhere, Alan Pulido scored a hat-trick as Tigres booked their place in the last eight with an emphatic 5-0 win against previous group leader Alajuelense.

Elias Hernandez and Brazilian Juninho put the mexican side in charge before Pulido struck three times in a 15-minute spell either side of half-time.

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