It took extra time, a penalty shootout and a couple of local heroes to send the Seattle Sounders on in the Fifth Round of the US Open Cup.
Seattle native Marcus Hahnemann made a key save in the shootout and Federal Way’s Lamar Neagle converted the match-winning penalty as the Sounders knocked off the San Jose Earthquakes 4-1 in penalties after a 1-1 draw in regulation and extra time.
Steven Lenhart’s superb opening goal in the 24th minute was matched immediately after by Kenny Cooper’s equalizer. Neither team would find the back of the net again until the penalty shootout.
“It’s just exciting,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. “People like a shootout. Coaches really don’t, but the fans love them.”
The result sets up another potential blockbuster Cup match. With the win Seattle will take on regional rival Portland Timbers in the Quarterfinals at 7:30 p.m. on July 9 at Starfire Sports Complex.
Gonzalo Pineda, Marco Pappa, Brad Evans, and Neagle each made their penalties for the Sounders. Khari Stephenson scored the first for San Jose before Alan Gordon slammed his off the post and J.J. Koval saw his effort saved by Hahnemann.
A very physical, scrappy game came to life in the twelfth minute. Neagle got his head on the end of a Pappa cross, and his header was bound for the top corner of the net before David Bingham made a superb, one-hand reaction save.
It was the Earthquakes who broke the deadlock in the 24th minute through Lenhart. San Jose, as they did all night, attacked by playing a long ball to their big forwards. Lenhart fought off Zach Scott to win the ball, turned and fired a rocket inside Marcus Hahnemann’s near post and into the net.
Just two minutes later, Kenny Cooper tied things up again for the Sounders. After Neagle received the ball at the top of the 18-yard box with his back to goal, he held possession and held off three defenders until he spotted Cooper, whom Neagle teed up for a curling strike past Bingham.
Seattle’s goal seemed to re-energize the Sounders, and they spend the remainder of the half with most of the ball and more attempts at goal. The closest came just before the halftime break when Earthquakes defender Clarence Goodson deflected a wicked cross from Evans off his own post.
Against the run of play, San Jose almost went up 2-1 early in the second half. Goodson, a central defender, made a long run to receive the ball in the box after some neat passing. He poked a shot just wide of the goal that easily could have gone in.
The Sounders kept knocking.
First Pappa, the most dangerous player on the field for Seattle, ripped a long shot just past the post. Cam Weaver then got his head on the end of a Pappa corner kick, but couldn’t keep his header down.
Chad Barrett came on as a substitute on for the Sounders in the 78th minute and nearly scored with his first touch. He headed a long cross goalward, but Bingham ranged to his left and made a sprawling save. Two minutes later, Barrett stepped up to a loose ball in the penalty area and smashed a shot off the far post that careened to safety.
Despite the Sounders outshooting the Earthquakes 21-9 in regulation, the home side couldn’t find a winner before the 90 minutes were up.
“I thought we deserved to win it, but it just wasn’t falling for us.” Schmid said. “Even towards the end with all the corners and opportunities. I thought we were a little bit snakebit, but the guys did well and came through on the penalties.”
With the threat of penalties looming, Seattle continued to press in the first half of extra time. A goal seemed inevitable when Pappa found Lamar Neagle with a long ball into the box, but Bingham somehow kept out Neagle’s point-blank effort from going in.
In the second added period, J.J. Koval had an excellent chance to send San Jose home with a win, but he blazed over the bar from about eight yards out. Seattle had numerous good opportunities, including two more shots from Neagle that were brilliantly kept out, before the whistle blew for the last time and the game was decided by spot-kicks.
HIGHLIGHTS: SAN JOSE AT SEATTLE
POST-GAME: MARCUS HAHNEMANN
POST-GAME: SIGI SCHMID
THE FINAL KICKS, SEATTLE CELEBRATION
MATCH REVIEW: RAVE TV
FULL MATCH REPLAY: SAN JOSE AT SEATTLE