The Union’s US Open Cup Run Comes To An End At The Hands Of Sporting KC
Chester, PA – The Philadelphia Union’s magical cup run came to an end Wednesday night at PPL Park as KC knocked off Philly 2-0. The loss eliminated Philadelphia from US Open Cup play. The Union came into tonight’s game after winning 3 straight cup games and were just one win away from the final.
The first half play ended 0-0. Neither team hadany real scoring chances but KC was much more in control of the a game were looking for pay back as the Union had crushed them 4-0 at PPL Park just a two weeks ago.
KC broke the scoreless tie with a 65th header from Jacob Peterson. The ball was played into the box on a well hit free kick by Graham Zusi. Union keeper Zac MacMath got a late hand to the ball but it still went into goal as he misjudged the play of the header (to the far post away.)
Sporting KC wasn’t done pressing, just two minutes after the goal KC sub C.J. Sapong beat MacMath with clip shot that grazed the far post and rolled out of bounds.
The Union tried to fight back with super sub Antoine Hoppenot who entered the match in the 65th minute and right away added energy. He came close in the 69th minute to tying game with a breakaway that was blocked by KC’s keeper Jimmy Nielsen.
Philadelphia continued to pressure on the KC’s back line but just couldn’t find a good shot on goal. The Union in stoppage time had 9 players in the box on a set piece play and even keeper Zac MacMath was pushing up to the half way line. The gamble burned the Union as KC’s Graham Zusi iced the game with a long range shot over the head of MacMath to seal the game and send Sporting KC to the US Open Cup Final. Sporting KC will host the US Open Cup Final on August 7 or 8.
Philadelphia Union interim Coach John Hackworth said this cup run give the team something when they had nothing. This did spark the Union to winning league games in the mix of this run. Also this was the first time the Union were goal-less in 6 matches.
The Union return home to face a 2nd Canadian team in the week as they host Montreal Impact July 14, 2012. This will mark the first time two clubs will face each other and it will be the return of Justin Mapp who spend time with Philadelphia 2010-2011.
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