Seattle midfielder Erik Friberg scored the game-tying goal in the 90th minute and Brad Evans added the game-winner from the spot in the 97th as Seattle fought from behind to earn a 2-1 win over Honduras' CD Olimpia in Group F of the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday night at CenturyLink Field.

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Seattle midfielder Erik Friberg scored the game-tying goal in the 90th minute and Brad Evans added the game-winner from the spot in the 97th as Seattle fought from behind to earn a 2-1 win over Honduras’ CD Olimpia in Group F of the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday night at CenturyLink Field.

These are my first impressions:

– Sigi Schmid gambled with his starting XI.

Mired in an eight-game August and with more pressing concerns in league play, Sounders coach Sigi Schmid gambled with a second-choice starting lineup for the second straight Champions League match.

In Vancouver, it paid off, as Lamar Neagle’s second-half goal snatched a vital away point and got Seattle off to a positive start to group play. On Wednesday, Schmid’s bet worked out again.

Seattle’s lineup on Wednesday might have been even greener than the one that ran out at B.C. Place. Rookie forward Darwin Jones earned his first-ever Sounders start up top, and S2 regular Jimmy Ockford slotted in alongside Zach Scott at central defense.

Just one Sounder who started the 4-0 victory over Orlando City, Lamar Neagle, got the nod again on Wednesday.

Contrast that with Olimpia’s approach: 9 of its 11 starters appeared in its most recent club game. And it didn’t take long for the Hondurans to show their quality, as Alberth Elis both earned a fifth-minute free kick and finished off Oscar Salas’ pinpoint feed.

– It wasn’t pretty, but Seattle took care of business.

Rule No. 1 for advancing in the CONCACAF Champions League is that you have to win your home games – at the very least, you cannot lose them. Such is life in the toughest of the competition’s eight groups, where each team entered with reasonable expectation of being the lone survivor.

Seattle was mere minutes away from the daunting task of flying to Tegucigalpa a week from tonight needing a win just to keep its knockout-round hopes alive.

Instead, in an incredible sequence, Erik Friberg headed home Aaron Kovar’s long throw while the home crowd booed an Olimpia player that had been stretchered off — only to hop healthily back off it as soon as he reached the sidelines. Those turned to cheers in an instant, and they got louder when Dylan Remick was fouled on the edge of Seattle’s box with just seconds remaining.

Evans stepped up, fired it past Vallardes and earned Seattle four points from its first two Champions League matches.

– This competition is rarely boring.

Olimpia’s traveling fans made their presence felt before the game even kicked off, setting off a series of red, white and blue smoke bombs. Their section in the North End was lively all game, a flag-waving mass that jigged from start to finish.

On the field, the game was a clash of styles, as well. Olimpia took on Sounders with abandon – Elis, in particulary, sized up his opponents and attacked with choppy feet. The Hondurans also started time-wasting before the game even hit halftime, milking contact for all it was worth.

Seattle played within itself, staying in control even as it started running of time.

The Sounders had plenty of chances. Aaron Kovar was denied by Noel Vallarde’s diving right hand in the 25th minute, and later smashed a free look off the right post. Thomas was also denied by an acrobatic Vallarde save, and though Lamar Neagle caught the ‘keeper in no-man’s land midway through the second half, his lofted header floated wide of the second half.

Tempers flared as the clock ticked upwards, the Sounders pressing and Olimpia desperately trying to hold on. Then Friberg headed home, and Evans followed up shortly afterward.

Evans taunted Vallardes on his way past, tempers boiled over and a pair of rare 99th-minute yellow cards will flash. Say this for the Champions League, it’s rarely boring.