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Sounders score late, keep Charlotte FC winless on road

May 29, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Cristian Roldan (7) and Charlotte FC defender Joseph Mora (28) pursue an outlet pass during the first half at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Morris and Raul Ruidiaz scored in the final 18 minutes of regulation as the Seattle Sounders rallied for a 2-1 victory against visiting Charlotte FC in MLS play Sunday night.

Benjamin Bender scored in the first half for expansion Charlotte (5-8-1, 16 points), which fell short in its bid for its first road victory.

The Sounders (5-6-1, 16 points) dominated play but couldn’t break through until the 72nd minute.

Defender Alex Roldan got the ball near the top of the penalty area on the right wing and cut back before putting a left-footed cross to Morris at the top of the 6-yard box. Morris left his feet to put a diving header inside the far post, leaving Charlotte goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina no chance.

The Sounders took the lead in the 80th minute, as Charlotte was called for a handball just outside the penalty area near the end line on the right wing.

Seattle captain Nicolas Lodeiro took the free kick, eschewing the big bodies in front for a header and putting it back across the penalty area for Ruidiaz, whose 15-yard shot was blocked. But Ruidiaz tracked down the ball near the left edge of the penalty area, turned back toward the top left corner of the box and struck an 18-yarder into the far upper corner of the net for the winner.

Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei made two saves, while Kahlina was credited with one.

Charlotte’s goal came in the 21st minute after a free kick from just outside the top of the penalty area.

The play started when Frei, with a dive, got a fingertip on Jordy Alcivar’s low screamer, deflecting it off the left post. But the ball ricocheted off Frei’s leg and right to Bender, who was charging toward the net, and he easily guided it in.

Morris had a chance in the first half but sent Cristian Roldan’s cross just wide of the left post, and 16-year-old Obed Vargas just missed his first MLS goal, putting a 20-yarder wide of the top left corner following a corner kick.

–Field Level Media