Seattle Sounders FC were 4-2 victors over Chivas USA at StubHub Center on Wednesday night.
Obafemi Martins and Andy Rose each notched a brace in the opening 45 minutes against a pathetic home display. By the end of the half, the Goats were faced with Major League Soccer’s most potent attack.
After the break, however, some lax Rave Green defending allowed Marco Delgado and Ryan Finley to halve the deficit.
The game’s first chance brought the first goal for Seattle. In the 11th minute, when Brad Evans’ deep corner was nodded down by Chad Marshall, Martins pounced in front of the goalkeeper to hook into the net.
The Nigerian was soon linking up with strike-partner Clint Dempsey, as he returned a flick to the United States captain, who fired narrowly wide. Moments later, the same combination saw a dink over Dan Kennedy that was expertly cleared by Jhon Kennedy Hurtado.
It didn’t take long for the visitors to double their advantage, though, with Lamar Neagle punishing Chivas’ criminally high defensive line.
He collected Dempsey’s threaded pass, burst forward, and teed up Martins to slot into the corner for his second of the night. This brought his 2014 tally to 12, a new record figure for the 29-year-old in league play.
Another opportunity for Dempsey went begging as he missed the far post, after which Wilmer Cabrera’s men improved somewhat, with Felix Borja sending a tame effort towards Stefan Frei.
However, Martins should have clinched a hat-trick when he ran clear and dallied in front of goal, before another Evans set-piece then added to the scoresheet. A free-kick was swung over to the back post, where Rose met the ball with a firm left-footed volley which beat Kennedy.
With little home resistance, it was four before half-time. An almost identical delivery reached the same man in the same position, and this time Rose applied his head to find the net.
There was still time for Frei to make a first save of note in the seconds before the referee’s whistle, when Finley gathered possession in the area, span and shot, but the Swiss ‘stopper was his equal.
The Sounders made a rampant start to the second period, but Los Rojiblancos quickly mustered a response through Delgado. He towered over his marker from Eriv Avila’s looped centre, and his header dropped just under the crossbar with Frei stranded.
While Dempsey continued to be frustrated at one end, Chivas grew in confidence at the other and once the goalkeeper had gathered from Borja, the lead was narrowed further.
Finley rolled Zach Scott in the area, with a clumsy challenge bringing Ted Unkel to award a penalty. The fouled player took the penalty himself, squeezing his finish under Frei to give the Goats a modicum of hope.
Borja twice lashed wildly off target, but though both teams looked to improve what had become an embarrassing scoreline, there was to be no late breakthrough.