Tiago Volpi

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Seattle Sounders 2-2 Club America: Champs claw back twice in CONCACAF Champions League first leg

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Club America showed why its the reigning champion, twice coming back from deficits to draw Seattle Sounders 2-2 in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal.

Darwin Quintero and Oribe Peralta scored road goals for Las Águilas, who host the return leg March 2 at 8 p.m. ET.

Clint Dempsey scored both of Seattle’s goals, but defensive lapses allowed the champs to even things up in Washington.

[ WATCH: Dempsey’s free kick goal ]

Osvaldo Alonso tore a low shot wide of the post in the second minute, and Seattle was off and running.

The Sounders appeared to have taken the lead by a razor-thin goal line margin, but Jordan Morris’ header was missing just enough steam for Tiago Volpi to paw it off the line.

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Rubens Sambueza picked up a deflected ball off Brad Evans and pushed an odd-angled shot off the crossbar.

Then, end of half chaos. First Clint Dempsey swept a 25-yard free kick past Volpi to make it 1-0, but America struck back within 60 seconds.

A long ball over the top exposed Brad Evans, and Colombia striker Quintero blew by the back line and caught Stefan Frei flat-footed to make it 1-1.

Morris won a corner, and Dempsey made it 2-1 off service from Andreas Ivanschitz. He rose back post to pound a header off the turf and past Volpi.

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America made its case for another quick equalizer, but Frei parried a Quintero chance to keep it 2-1.

Evans and Frei were lost again on Seattle’s second goal, as Peralta darted free to redirect Quintero’s left-footed cross ever so slightly to make it 2-2.

Dempsey won a stoppage time free kick on the left edge of the 18, drawing a yellow card on Pablo Aguilar, but Ivanschitz’s left-footed offering was handled by Club America.