USOC: Sapong brace, Zusi strike send SKC on to semis
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Sporting Kansas City wanted redemption and a shot at revenge.
They got both out of Tuesday night’s 3-0 victory against the Dayton Dutch Lions in the quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup at Livestrong Sporting Park.
C.J. Sapong’s two goals were sandwiched around another from Graham Zusi, ensuring there would be no repeat of Sporting’s quarterfinal exit in 2011, when they lost 2-0 to the Richmond Kickers of the third-tier USL Pro. The rout of Dayton, who also play in USL Pro, set up a chance to avenge Saturday’s 4-0 league loss to Philadelphia.
Sporting will travel to meet the Union in a July 11 semifinal, the reward for their first quarterfinal win since they won their only Open Cup in 2004.
Sapong’s first goal was a case of things going wrong – and then turning out right.
Midfielder Peterson Joseph whiffed on an attempt from 25 yards, the ball continuing on to Seth Sinovic five yards behind him. Sinovic launched a left-footed shot of his own, and it deflected off Sapong and into the net.
Zusi made it 2-0 in the 56th minute with a strike from just outside the penalty arc. He took a pass from Jacob Peterson, worked to his right and drove his shot past a flat-footed Matthew Williams into the upper right of the goal.
Three minutes later, it was Sapong’s turn again. He cut toward the goal to meet Soony Saad’s corner kick, nodding it down and in for his team-leading seventh goal across all competitions. It was also his fifth US Open Cup goal for Kansas City, tying him for the team record.
Center back Matt Besler returned to Sporting’s XI after missing three games recovering from an emergency appendectomy. He was solid in the back throughout his stint before being replaced by Konrad Warzycha in the 68th minute.
Tuesday night’s match also saw the end of right back Chance Myers’ streak of 2,250 straight minutes played across all competitions. Myers was not in the XI for the first time since sitting out a league match last Sept. 17 at Real Salt Lake.
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.