A miserable round of penalties favored Sporting KC 3-2 after an unattractive game left the score even with Seattle in the Open Cup final.Sporting Kansas City prevented Seattle Sounders FC from winning what would have been a record fourth straight U.S. Open Cup. Instead, penalties gave the trophy to the home side after a 1-1 draw in regular and extra time.
Lightning delayed kickoff for 40 minutes. As a double rainbow formed over LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, the side that traditionally wears green couldn't find the treasure.
Sporting opened the scoring with barely five minutes remaining in the match. Teal Bunbury pushed the ball into the box and it looked to deflect off a Sounders FC defender's arm. Kei Kamara easily dispatched his penalty.
Just two minutes later Seattle equalized. Mauro Rosales floated a tempting free kick into the box and Zach Scott redirected a stiff header home.
The match rumbled into extra time, becoming more open and feisty as it went along. Patrick Ianni was ejected two minutes before penalties for collecting a second booking.
Exhaustion told once it came to spot kicks. Roger Espinoza, who barely made it back from the Olympics and an alleged clavicle injury, tamely ushered his low shot at Michael Gspurning for the first miss of the night. The other midfield star of the night, Osvaldo Alonso, skied his shot. Graham Zusi embarrassingly overcooked his 'Panenka' so that the spooned ball landed on top of the goal as opposed to inside of it.
Jimmy Nielsen blocked Christian Tiffert's shot. Gspurning thought he had pulled off a similar save on Paulo Nagamura, but the referee indicated that the goalkeeper moved off his line early. Nagamura emphatically thumped his second attempt the other direction and in.
Eddi Johnson blasted the last penalty high to hand Sporting KC the trophy.
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