The nightcap of the first day of the Third Round turned out to be arguably the most exciting of them all. Six goals, including two in extra time, weren’t enough to settle this battle between the Kansas City Wizards and the Minnesota Thunder, so in penalties, the Wizards emerged triumphant as Boris Pardo made two saves to lead Kansas City to the Quarterfinals.
Melvin Tarley opened the scoring and then squelched any hopes of a comeback by the St. Louis Lions, as the Thunder beat the PDL side 4-1 in Blaine, Minn.
With the Thunder up 2-0 after Ricardo Sanchez’s 57th minute goal, Tommy Heinemann got the Lions on the board and sliced the lead to 2-1 in the 79th minute. But a minute later, the lead was back to two thanks to Tarley, who scored his seventh and eighth career Open Cup goals.
In a match that sometimes resembled a wrestling battle royal, the California Victory defeated the Minnesota Thunder 1-0, just two days after Minnesota prevailed over the Victory by the same score in a USL-1 league match.
The Thunder wasted no time jumping on attack, forcing Victory goalkeeper Eric Reed to thwart two breakaway attempts in the first twenty minutes. The Thunder also struck the crossbar during this time, off a shot from Brian Farber.