Sporting KC exacts revenge against Union, advances to title game

Reprinted from Goal.com, July 11, 2012

CHESTER, Pa. – Sporting Kansas City advanced to — and will host — the U.S. Open Cup final after beating the Philadelphia Union 2-0 in PPL Park Wednesday night. 

Jacob Peterson’s 64th minute goal was all the visitors needed as they won a spot against the Seattle Sounders. Midfielder Graham Zusi tacked on one more just before the final whistle to squash any hopes of a miraculous comeback.The teams spent much of the first half trading possession and body blows. Attacking intent fell by the wayside as each team racked up eight first-half fouls. 

With the Union’s offense failing to replicate the 4-0 drubbing they put on Sporting on June 23, Kansas City managed to tally. Following a restart, after yet another foul, Graham Zusi’s free kick met Peterson’s head, and the ball found its way into the net, just outside of Union keeper Zac MacMath’s extended reach. 

Despite playing at a frenetic pace in the final minutes, Philadelphia could not crack Kansas City’s staunch defense, and constant fouls on both sides prevented the home team from gaining anything resembling a consistent attacking rhythm. As MacMath pushed forward offensively in stoppage time, Zusi took a turnover at the midfield line and blasted the ball past the stranded keeper.

In the night’s later semifinal, Seattle dispatched Chivas USA 4-1 in Starfire Sports Stadium. Osvaldo Alonso assisted Eddie Johnson’s opener and then scored a penalty. Cesar Romero notched the consolation for the Goats to briefly make a game of it. But Fredy Montero, who earned the spot kick, assisted the game-killing third, which Brad Evans finished. Sammy Ochoa added the icing with a fourth. 

Sounders FC have never lost an Open Cup game in MLS franchise history, winning three on the trot. This is the club’s fourth straight final. 

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