Sporting KC wins third US Open Cup title after PK shootout with Philadelphia Union (video)

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  • September 30, 2015
Sporting KC wins US Open Cup 7-6 in PKs
Sporting Kansas CitySporting Kansas City  
1 : 1
Philadelphia Union    Philadelphia Union
 PPL Park - Chester, PA 

Sporting Kansas City celebrates the club's third US Open Cup title. Photo: Bob Larson

Sporting Kansas City celebrates the club’s third US Open Cup title. Photo: Bob Larson

For the second time in four years, Sporting Kansas City is the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Champion. And for the second time in four years, the victory was claimed in penalty kicks.

Jordi Quintilla’s conversion in the eighth round of penalties was the difference as Sporting Kansas City topped the Philadelphia Union 7-6 in kicks after a 1-1 regulation draw. It is the third time that Kansas City has lifted the Open Cup trophy (2004, 2012, 2015).

Sporting had to come from behind to get to penalty kicks, giving up the opening goal in the 23rd minute. Looking dangerous throughout the first half, the Union got that goal when Vincent Nogueira hit a laser of a diagonal pass to Sebastian Le Toux. The Frenchman made no mistake with his right foot, putting the ball in the back of the net. That goal was Le Toux’s 16th in Open Cup play — the most of anyone in the Open Cup Modern Era.

CHECK OUT PHOTOS FROM THE 2015 US OPEN CUP FINAL

The Union, playing in their second Final at home in a row, could not find a second goal however. The lack of a killer second goal gave Sporting hope heading into the second half.

Photo: Bob Larson

Photo: Bob Larson

“In the first half we pushed the tempo,” Union coach Jim Curtin said. “I was sitting on the sideline saying ‘we need a second goal.’ ”

The road team pushed forward in the second half and were eventually rewarded. In the 65th minute, Chance Myers crossed a ball into the Union box that was played by Graham Zusi. Krisztian Nemeth collected the ball and hit a right-footed curler to the far post, past Andre Blake to tie the match. It was the fifth goal of the competition for Nemeth who would finish the Open Cup tied with teammate Dom Dwyer in goals (5) and points (11). It also marked the fourth straight game that Nemeth had scored a goal in, which ties a Modern Era record.

“Our biggest thing was that we wanted to get set higher up the field,” said Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes. “We couldn’t get ourselves out [in the first half]. I knew we had the ability to break [the Union] down.”

For 10 minutes after the goal, Philadelphia looked down and out. Conor Casey came in as a sub and changed that, getting a shot on goal with his first touch. Casey remained influential for the remainder of the match, but Kansas City and keeper Tim Melia kept him off the scoreboard.

The crowd of 14,463 wet fans — including a fair amount of Sporting Kansas City supporters — were not treated to a game-winner. Instead, the teams headed to overtime, something the Union especially were used to in Open Cup play.

Both teams had a few chances in the second half, but the most interesting moment came when Curtin made his final sub. With a minute left in the second overtime, Curtin switched goalkeepers, bringing in John McCarthy for Blake. McCarthy was the hero against both Rochester and the New York Red Bulls in earlier rounds of the Open Cup, winning penalty kick shootouts in each game.

“It’s something we talked about all week,” Curtin said. “He is special at PKs.”

But it was Sporting Kansas City that came out on top. After two rounds, Melia saved Maurice Edu’s shot, but McCarthy followed up with a save on Nemeth. Both teams converted four more kicks until the Union’s Andrew Wenger had his shot stopped by Melia. Quintilla was the hero, putting his shot away to give Kansas City the victory.

Highlights: 2015 US Open Cup Final

US Open Cup championship celebration

Sporting KC lifting the trophy

Tim Melia: Post game interview

Peter Vermes: Post game interview

Jordi Quintilla: Post game interview

Paulo Nagamura: Post game interview

Krisztian Nemeth: Post game interview

Sporting KC fans celebration/reaction

Sporting KC bring trophy back home (winners rally)

Sporting Kansas City Philadelphia Union
GOALS 65' · Krisztian Nemeth (Graham Zusi) 
23' · Sebastien Le Toux (Vincent Nogueira) 
SHOTS 10 13
SAVES 8 4
CORNERS 6 9
FOULS 25 18
OFFSIDE 1 5
YELLOW CARDS 29' · Kevin Ellis 
34' · Seth Sinovic 
76' · Jordi Quintilla 
86' · Matt Besler 
94' · Paulo Magamura 
21' · Michael Lahoud 
58' · Tranquillo Barnetta 
91' · CJ Sapong 
RED CARDS
REFEREES REF: Ted Unkel
AR:   Ian Anderson
AR:  James Conlee
4th: Chris Penso
ATTENDANCE 14463
Sporting Kansas City
Tim Melia (GK)
Kevin Ellis
Matt Besler
Seth Sinovic
Chance Myers
Benny Fielhaber
Paulo Nagamura
Soni Mustivar
Krisztian Nemeth
Dom Dwyer
Graham Zusi
Substitutions
 Jordi Quintilla (Soni Mustivar) 66'
 Saad Abdul-Salaam (Seth Sinovic) 78'
 Jacob Peterson (Chance Myers) 112'
 
 
Philadelphia Union
Andre Blake (GK)
Ray Gaddis
Richard Marquez
Maurice Edu
Fabinho
Vincent Nogueira
Michael Lahoud
Sebastien Le Toux
Cristian Maidana
Tranquillo Barnetta
CJ Sapong
Substitutions
 Conor Casey (Cristian Maidana) 77'
 Andrew Wenger (CJ Sapong) 115'
 John McCarthy (Andre Blake) 120'