Cato goal, stingy defense lifts Sounders past Earthquakes in Open Cup quarters

Cato goal, stingy defense lifts Sounders past Earthquakes in Open Cup quarters

U.S. Open Cup

Cato goal, stingy defense lifts Sounders past Earthquakes in Open Cup quarters

SoundersCupWin (Getty)

The Seattle Sounders took another step closer to a potential fourth straight U.S. Open Cup title by knocking off the San Jose Earthquakes in their Open Cup quarterfinal in San Francisco on Tuesday night.

Cordell Cato provided the early goal, scoring in the 19th minute, while the Sounders defense made it stand up with a strong group effort to keep the Earthquakes off the scoreboard. Former Earthquake goalkeeper Andrew Weber enjoyed some revenge against his old employer, posting a shutout in Seattle's 1-0 victory.

The win pushes Seattle into an Open Cup semifinal meeting with Chivas USA, which rode a stoppage time goal to a 2-1 victory over the Charlotte Eagles.

In a game that saw both teams rest several top starters, the Sounders did well to defend their early lead, whether a steady stream of pressure from the Earthquakes, who kept throwing numbers foward in search of an equalizer.

That goal never came, and Seattle eventually held on for the victory in a match that ended in controversial fashion after a shoving match ensued after the final whistle. Reports suggest Sounders forward Eddie Johnson punched San Jose's Jed Zayner after being confronted about celebrating his team's victory by taunting San Jose's bench.

What did you think of the match? Impressed with Seattle's defense? Think Seattle will four-peat? Surprised to see San Jose's attack shut down?

Share your thoughts below.

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