Seattle Sounders Beat Toronto FC 3-1 to Win 2019 MLS Cup

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IINovember 10, 2019

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 10: Roman Torres #29 of Seattle Sounders FC celebrates the 1st goal with his teammates during the match between Toronto FC and Seattle Sounders as part of the MLS Cup 2019 at CenturyLink Field on November 10, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images)
Omar Vega/Getty Images

Seattle Sounders beat Toronto FC 3-1 to lift the 2019 MLS Cup on Sunday at CenturyLink Field.  

Both sides had chances in an even but goalless first half. Nicolas Benezet went closest for Toronto with a powerful low strike that a diving Stefan Frei managed to block. 

At the other end, Jordan Morris and Raul Ruidiaz both had efforts for the hosts but could not find a way past goalkeeper Quentin Westberg.

Kelvin Leerdam fired Seattle in front just before the hour mark. His shot across goal hit Justin Morrow and rolled into the bottom corner of the net.

Substitute Victor Rodriguez doubled their lead on 76 minutes. The Spaniard was played in by Nicolas Lodeiro and ripped a low shot past Westberg.

Raul Ruidiaz wrapped up the win in the 90th minute by latching on to a long ball upfield and poking past Westberg, while substitute Jozy Altidore headed a late consolation for Toronto.

Sunday's game saw a number of records tumble as a huge crowd descended on CenturyLink Field for the final showdown:

Seattle forced the first effort on target in the game on 10 minutes. Jordan Morris broke down the left and went for goal but put his shot straight at goalkeeper Westberg.

Toronto hit back with a similar effort at the other end of the pitch. Benezet teed up Jonathan Osorio on the penalty spot, but he could only fire straight into Frei's hands.

Ruidiaz swept a Lodeiro corner over the bar when unmarked for Seattle before a diving Frei denied a cross-shot from Benezet:

Seattle went close again through Ruidiaz right on half-time. The striker nipped in to win the ball ahead of Omar Gonzalez but could not beat Westberg, who made a smart stop:

Toronto started the second half on the front foot but were undone when Morrow put through his own net for the opening goal on 58 minutes.

Ruidiaz picked out Leerdam in space in the penalty area. He controlled the ball on his chest, turned and fired a shot that was heading wide until it hit the unfortunate Morrow and deflected into the net:

Journalist Caitlin Murray was surprised the goal was credited to Leerdam:

Toronto threw on Nick DeLeon and then Altidore in search of an equaliser, but it was Seattle's substitute Rodriguez who proved more effective and doubled their lead.

Lodeiro laid the ball off to the 30-year-old to power a low shot past a diving Westberg on 76 minutes:

Ruidiaz added the hosts' third in the 90th minute after latching on to a long ball forward. He beat Chris Mavinga and then poked a shot home to spark wild celebrations in the standings.

There was still time for more drama in stoppage time. Altidore got his name on the scoresheet by powering a header home from the penalty spot.

Yet it was to prove just a consolation for Toronto, who wilted in the second half after going behind, while the Seattle Sounders took their chances and secured their second MLS Cup.

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