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Sporting Kansas City Claims 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup After Penalty Shootout Victory Against Three-Time Defending Champion Seattle Sounders FC


  • Sporting Edges Seattle 3-2 in Shootout After 1-1 Draw in Regulation and Extra Time
  • First Final Decided by Penalties Since 1997
  • Kansas City Collects Second Open Cup to Add to Title in 2004

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Aug. 8, 2012) – For the first time in 15 years, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup required a penalty kick shootout to determine a winner. After a 1-1 draw that lasted through 90 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of overtime, Sporting Kansas City prevailed with a 3-2 shootout victory against three-time defending U.S. Open Cup champion Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday in front of a crowd of 18,873 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.

Paulo Nagamura’s penalty kick proved to be the game-winner in the fifth round after each team had twice failed to convert. Seattle forward Eddie Johnson had a chance to equalize but skied his shot over the crossbar after Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen displayed an assortment of chatter and movement to try to disrupt his effort. Kansas City earned its first title since 2004, when the formerly named Kansas City Wizards won the Open Cup.

Kei Kamara and Matt Besler tallied the other two penalties in the shootout for Sporting. Kamara also had the game’s first goal in regulation in the 84 th minute, only to see the lead erased two minutes later by Seattle defender Zach Scott.

The shootout was the first since the Dallas Burn won the 1997 U.S. Open Cup against D.C. United in penalties at Carroll Stadium in Indianapolis. The Burn and D.C. United played to a scoreless draw through regulation, and Dallas topped D.C. 5-3 in the shootout.

Wednesday’s match saw the end of a phenomenal U.S. Open Cup run by the Seattle Sounders, which had won the three previous tournaments and had dominated most of this year’s field heading into the final. Seattle was in search of an unprecedented fourth straight crown.

The start of the match was delayed approximately 40 minutes because of rain, lightning and hail. When play got underway, it was Sporting Kansas City that generated the better scoring chances within the game’s first 20 minutes. In the 24th minute, Kamara took a shot from about 25 yards that had Seattle goalkeeper Michael Gspurning beat, but his effort caromed off the crossbar.

The Sounders’ first shot on goal nearly found the back of the net when Mauro Rosales delivered a 30th-minute corner kick into the box to a leaping Johnson. He rose above the Sporting defense and headed the ball toward goal, but Nielsen dove to his left for the clutch save. Johnson attacked again in the 35th minute, making a strong turn as he received the ball in the midfield and sped past the Kansas City defense before firing a shot just wide left of the goal.

Sporting’s Seth Sinovic took a deep chance outside the box in the 38th minute, a left-footed strike that came close to finding the upper left corner of the frame that hit the outside netting. The Sporting Kansas City faithful prematurely thought it was a goal with a small burst of confetti flying near the end line.

With Seattle and Kansas City combining for only five shots and three on goal in the second half, the two worn-out MLS sides clearly struggled to create consistent scoring chances in regulation.

Both teams finally broke through on the score sheet in a short time frame. Sporting gave its home crowd a 1-0 lead in the 84th minute as Kamara capitalized on a penalty kick after Seattle’s defense was called for a handball in the box. Kamara placed his shot just inside the right post as Gspurning guessed the opposite direction.

Kansas City’s lead was short-lived as Seattle responded on a set piece opportunity in the 86th minute. Rosales took a free kick that he sent into the box and Scott found a gap in the Sporting defense, rising for the header and redirecting it perfectly into the left corner of the net. Nielsen did not have a chance to react and the scored remained level after 90 minutes.

Kamara made things interesting in second-half stoppage time with a superb right-footed strike that just missed the mark, and Sporting and Seattle could not wrap things up in regulation.

In the two 15-minute overtime sessions, Sporting managed one shot on goal while Seattle could not muster a genuine opportunity. Seattle defender Patrick Ianni picked up his second yellow card and was sent off in the 118th minute, but that had little bearing as Kansas City and Seattle decided the title winner through penalty kicks.

The shootout had its share of ebbs and flows, with Seattle carrying a 2-1 lead after hitting its first two attempts from Brad Evans and Burch. Gspurning came close to turning away Kamara’s opening attempt, then saved Espinoza’s strike.

Besler tied the shootout at 2-2, and the next three attempts either went over the crossbar or were saved. Seattle’s Alonso powered his shot over, then Sporting’s Graham Zusi tried a chip that also missed the target. Nielsen saved Tiffert’s attempt and the two sides stayed at 2-2 through a combined eight shot attempts.

The turning point of the shootout was Nagamura’s penalty. Nagamura, who played most of the game with a big gash above his left cheek from a collision with Seattle’s Alex Caskey, took his penalty kick toward the right side of the net and Gspurning turned it aside. However, the official ruled that Gspurning was off his line too early and Nagamura was awarded a second chance.

Nagamura took his next opportunity with a bit more conviction, this time to the left, and buried it for a 3-2 lead that would deliver Sporting the U.S. Open Cup crown.

- Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Match Report -

Match: Sporting Kansas City vs. Seattle Sounders FC
Date: Aug. 8, 2012
Competition: 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final
Venue: LIVESTRONG Sporting Park
Kickoff: 8 p.m. CT
Attendance: 18,873
Weather: 77 degrees, clear

Scoring Summary: 1 2 OT1 OT2 F
SKC                         0 1   0     0     1
SEA                         0 1   0     0     1

SKC – Kei Kamara (penalty) 84th minute
SEA – Zach Scott (Mauro Rosales) 86

Penalty Summary:
SKC: Kamara (goal), Espinoza (saved), Besler (goal), Zusi (miss), Nagamura (goal)
SEA: Evans (goal), Burch (goal), Alonso (miss), Tiffert (saved), Johnson (miss)
Sporting Kansas City wins 3-2 on PKs

Lineups:
SKC: 1-Jimmy Nielsen (capt.); 7-Chance Myers, 13-Lawrence Olum, 5-Matt Besler, 16-Seth Sinovic (2-Michael Harrington, 100); 6-Paulo Nagamura, 55-Julio Cesar, 15-Roger Espinoza, 8-Graham Zusi; 9-Teal Bunbury (17-C.J. Sapong, 89), 23-Kei Kamara
Subs not used: 18-Eric Kronberg, 22-Soony Saad, 25-Neven Markovic, 37-Jacob Peterson, 88-Michael Thomas 
Head coach: Peter Vermes

SEA: 1-Michael Gspurning; 20-Zach Scott, 34-Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, 4-Patrick Ianni, 12-Leonardo Gonzalez; 10-Mauro Rosales (capt.), 6-Osvaldo Alonso, 25-Andy Rose (13-Christian Tiffert, 69), 27-Alex Caskey (3-Brad Evans, 69); 17-Fredy Montero (8-Marc Burch, 106), 7-Eddie Johnson
Subs not used: 11-Steve Zakuani, 13-Christian Tiffert, 26-Sammy Ochoa, 31-Jeff Parke, 33-Andrew Weber 
Head coach: Sigi Schmid

Statistical Summary: SKC / SEA
Shots: 14 / 7
Shots on Goal: 6 / 2
Saves: 1 / 5
Corner Kicks: 3 / 3
Fouls: 18 / 15
Offside: 0 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
SEA – Osvaldo Alonso (caution)      4th minute
SEA – Mauro Rosales (caution)        57
SEA – Patrick Ianni (caution)           73
SEA – Zach Scott (caution)              93
SEA – Patrick Ianni (caution)           118
SEA – Patrick Ianni (sent off)           118

Officials:
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Assistant Referee 1: Corey Rockwell
Assistant Referee 2: Peter Manikowski
Fourth Official: Michael Kennedy

Budweiser Man of the Match:
Jimmy Nielsen



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