BY SPNW Staff 09:54PM 09/07/2013

Own-goal by Fire gives Sounders a victory

The Sounders lately have been good, and Saturday night they also were lucky, getting the winning score in the 89th minute off an own goal by Gonzalo Segares to beat the Fire 2-1 Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd at the Clink. The Fire remains the only MLS team to never have beaten the Sounders.The win was the seventh in the past eight games for the Sounders, who have never lost to the Fire (5-0-3). In was also the third win in an eight-day stretch. But a draw seemed likely as the Sounders, missing their two starting forwards, Clint Dempsey and Eddie Johnson, couldn’t organize a steady attack.

In the 89th, Lamar Neagle brought the ball up the middle and laid off to Zach Scott down the left flank. His cross passed the near post to the feet of Segares, who dropped back to protect the goal, then watched helplessly as the ball banged off his shins into the net. Goalie Sean Johnson had no play.

A rare defensive breakdown put the Sounders, who had three shutouts in a row, in a hole early. In the 25th minute, Mike Magee slipped behind the Seattle defense and drew Michael Gspurning way off his line into space, and his soft roller eluded the diving goalie from 12 yards for a 1-0 lead.

Magee’s 15th of the season, tying him for the league lead, ended the Sounders’ scoreless streak at 310 minutes. But he would come out of the game at halftime because of a groin injury.

In the 40th minute, Seattle evened matters when Johnson couldn’t control a shot past the goal, and Marc Burch returned the ball into the middle. Neagle swung his left foot hard and took the ball out of the air and into net for his seventh this season, tying him for the club lead.

Ten minutes earlier, the Sounders had a chance to tie after a handball foul provided a penalty kick. But Osvaldo Alonso’s shot was thwarted by Johnson, who guessed correctly and dove to his right to get both hands on the ball and knock it away.

The Sounders, unbeaten in their past 12 at home (9-0-3),  moved into sole possession of second in the West, pending the outcome of the Los Angeles Galaxy’s game Saturday. They meet No. 1 Real Salt Lake at the Clink Friday.


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