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Seattle Sounders vs NYCFC: Schmetzer & Deila know CCL semi-final isn't finished yet

Chris Smith
Seattle Sounders take a 3-1 advantage to New York next week.
Seattle Sounders take a 3-1 advantage to New York next week. / Abbie Parr-USA TODAY Sports

NYCFC head coach Ronny Deila is confident his side can turn around their Concacaf Champions League semi-final clash with the Seattle Sounders.

The reigning MLS Cup champions went down 3-1 at Lumen Field on Wednesday night in the first leg of their last-four meeting.

“We wanted a little bit of a better result of course, in 80% of the game we had good control, 80-90%, but there were key moments in the game that we weren’t close enough, especially on the left side, and we got some crosses against us and then we were not good enough to be tight inside the box and they are deadly when they get opportunities like that," Deila analyzed after the match.

But all is not lost. Thiago Andrade's 27th-minute strike - making it 1-1 at the time - gives NYCFC a precious away goal ahead of next week's second leg at Red Bull Arena. And in two previous home meetings with the Sounders, the Cityzens have a 100 percent record with a 5-1 combined scoreline.

Deila is certainly not giving up hope.

"We got our away goal and that was important and that means we have to be fully into the game on Wednesday again," he added. "We are coming home, we need to win 2-0 and we have done that many times before so I’m positive. I know we can do better than we did today, at the same time we know how good we are when we are at home, so nothing is over.”

During his post-match press conference, Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer was asked about sections of the Mexican media making his side favorites to win the tournament - the winner of this semi-final will face either Pumas or Cruz Azul of Liga MX in the final.

But like Deila, Schmetzer knows the job isn't finished yet and he's not thinking of anything beyond next week's second leg.

“What I told them in the locker room was, we are not finished yet,” he said. “It's not over against New York City FC and I don't care what the Mexican press says. We're not going to be the favorites. We have to still earn every opportunity we have to even get to a final.”

Jordan Morris, winger and scorer of Seattle's second goal on the night, added: “We're not getting ahead of ourselves too much, our only focus is now on the next game next Wednesday and what we can do to win that and move on to the final."