chelsea Fredy Montero

Worthy Opponents

1:13 AMGoalChatter

Herbalife World Football Challenge: Chelsea FC vs. Seattle Sounders

After a disappointing Montreal-Revs game, I was looking forward to the friendly match that pitted European champions and one of MLS's front-runners. Needless to say, the game was full of surprises from both sides. The Sounders definitely played more as a team in this match than at the US Open Cup semi finals. Chelsea scored a third minute goal when Lukaku dribbled past Seattle's defenders as though they were a NASL team. On the 11th minute, Eden Hazard scored a very different kind of goal, slicing through the defense, aiming for the back post and getting the ball where it needed to be. Fredy Montero came through for the Sounders in both halves of the match. His counter gave Seattle a corner, and though the set piece did not yield a goal, Montero's opportunity knocked again two minutes later, and he answered with a through ball into the net. Ivanovic saved Chelsea from Montero's double on the 16th minute. Chelsea's 2-goal lead seemed to motivate not only the Sounders' fans but the team itself. Chelsea had ruffled the Sounders' feathers, and the latter were more eager than ever in setting up counters and taking advantage of Chelsea's erroneous plays. Johnson was brilliant both defensively and on the attack. His header on the 20th minute went just a tad over the net. Fernandez had a lovely header as well. Ivanovic marked Montero, but it was about time that Fredy made it double. His left-footed shot on the 32nd minute tied the match. Both teams were giving away the ball in a seemingly effortless manner because of how open a game they were playing. Chelsea's Marko Marin scored a 40th-minute goal with a deflection off of Jeff Parke, who was at the wrong place at the wrong time. A few minutes later came another midfield giveaway, courtesy of Leonardo Gonzalez, whose third gift to Chelsea yielded a double for Lukaku, who tactfully outplayed goalkeeper Meredith.
Though the score would remain, the crowd of 53,000 attendees at CenturyLink Park took in the sites of a dynamic Eden Hazard and Fredy Montero. The latter could have scored a hat-trick on many occasions. Chelsea newbie Kevin De Bruyne had a great counter that went high. Johnson was consistent in his defending, earning a corner for the Sounders right before veteran Roger Levesque came on to play his last professional game before retiring. Levesque, who started off his career by playing for the San Jose Earthquakes, ended up being loaned to Seattle, where he played for nearly 8 years. Among his accomplishments is helping Seattle attain three consecutive Lamar Hunt US Open Cups. He came quite close to scoring his last goal from a corner in the last minute of stoppage time. Nevertheless, Sounders fans honored the veteran player with banners as well as an ovation. Levesque bade his team farewell in a game that should make Sigi Schmid proud.

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