Sporting Kansas City beats Philadelphia Union in penalties for U.S. Open Cup title
Jordi Quintilla scored the winner in the eighth round of penalty kicks, Tim Melia made two saves in the tiebreaker and Sporting Kansas City beat the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday night for their third U.S. Open Cup title.
Sporting KC won the shootout 7-6 after the teams played to a 1-1 tie.
The championship was Sporting KC’s third major trophy in four years. They also won the 2012 U.S. Open Cup and 2013 MLS Cup on penalty kicks. Sporting won its first U.S. Open Cup in 2004.
“There’s just something about this group of guys on penalty kicks in championship games,” captain Matt Besler said. “Once the ref blew the whistle on the second extra time, we had all been there before so I think everyone was really comfortable and confident.”
John McCarthy was brought into the game in goal at the very end of extra time after leading Philadelphia to two shootout wins in the tournament, but stopped only Krisztian Nemeth as the Union lost the championship game at home for the second straight year.
Andrew Wenger and captain Maurice Edu both missed their penalty kicks for Philadelphia.
“We continue to try to find our first (trophy),” Union coach Jim Curtin. “It’s the hardest thing to do in our game. The building was ready to erupt and we came up a little bit short in penalty kicks.”
Nemeth tied it in the 65th minute, tucking a curler past starting goalkeeper Andre Blake for his fourth goal in four U.S. Open Cup games.
Sebastien Le Toux opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when he ran onto a perfect long ball from fellow Frenchman Vincent Nogueira and beat Melia to the far post. Le Toux has 16 career goals in the competition, scoring in two straight Open Cup games.
But the Union, despite generating the majority of the scoring chances in the first half, couldn’t score a second goal.
“I say this very professionally: We kicked their butts,” midfielder Michael Lahoud said. “On a different day, we embarrass Kanas City. But today was their day.”
With the win, Sporting Kansas City earned one of the United States’ four spots in the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League.
“This feeling never gets old,” Besler said. “Winning championships is what it’s about. It doesn’t matter how many you’ve won. We want to keep winning.”
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