St. Paul, MN - The San Jose Earthquakes advanced to the semifinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the first time in club history with a dramatic 5-4 penalty kick victory over the A-League's Minnesota Thunder on Wednesday night at James S. Griffin Stadium in St. Paul. After finishing the match tied 2-2, on goals by Brian Ching and Landon Donovan, Todd Dunivant provided the winning penalty kick for San Jose. The Earthquakes will now face the Kansas City Wizards in the semifinals on Tuesday, August 24 in Kansas City.
The Thunder took an early 1-0 lead, scoring in the fourth minute on a goal by Melvin Tarley. Tarley hammered home a shot from the middle of the Quakes six-yard box after Jay Alberts beat his defender on the left side and sent a low cross into the box as Minnesota took a 1-0 lead.
The Earthquakes tied the game at 1-1 in the 24th minute on another goal from forward Brian Ching. After Ching was taken down at the top of the penalty box on the right side of the field, Agoos curled a free kick into the middle of the Thunder box. The ball bounced first before Ching volleyed a shot past Minnesota goalkeeper Joe Warren.
San Jose goalkeeper Jon Conway made several tough saves to keep the score tied as Alberts attempted to get Minnesota's second goal with a hard shot from the left. Conway was tested in the 40th minute coming off his line to punch away a corner, and then blocking a Tarley header over the goal.
San Jose started off the second half on the offensive with the addition of Dwayne De Rosario to the lineup in place of Jeff Agoos. The Quakes took a 2-1 lead on a Donovan goal in the 64th minute. Ramiro Corrales crossed a ball from the right side to Ching near midfield. Ching one-timed a pass to a streaking Donovan, who broke in alone against Warren. Warren made the initial save on Donovan, but the rebound bounced right back to the Quakes forward, who placed a shot into the open net.
Minnesota managed to tie the match at 2-2 in the 77th minute when Dustin Branan headed a Jeff Matteo corner kick past Conway. The Thunder continued to pressure Conway as time wound down, with the Quakes goalkeeper making several incredible diving saves.
Both teams had several opportunities to score in overtime, and the Quakes suffered a blow in the 110th minute when Corrales received his second yellow card for a hard tackle and was ejected, leaving San Jose to finish the game with ten men.
With the match dead-locked at 2-2, San Jose would need penalty kicks to pull out the victory. The Quakes made all five of their penalty kicks, with Donovan, Ching, Richard Mulrooney and Dwayne De Rosario all burying the first four shots. The Thunder made four shots as well, except Conway forced the Thunder's second shooter, Jay Alberts, to loft his shot over the crossbar, allowing Dunivant to place the winning penalty kick low and to the right of a diving Warren.
The Quakes return to MLS action this Saturday with a 7:00 p.m. PT match-up against Freddy Adu and D.C. United. The game will be broadcast live on HDNet and can be heard live on the radio on 1590 KLIV (English) and 1370 KZSF (Spanish).
Dominic Kinnear, on the game: "It was a good cup tie. With them scoring first and the guys battling back, Brian Ching got a nice goal and I felt like we were on top of the game for a bit, but give them credit, they battled back and got a nice goal off a corner kick. After that, it was kind of a shoot-out."
Dominic Kinnear, on overtime: "With Ramiro [Corrales] getting red carded it gave the advantage to them, but we weathered the storm and Jon [Conway] played well tonight. I am happy to get the win. This is a tough place to play, Minnesota has a good team and it feels good to get that win."
Dominic Kinnear, on the team: " I give full credit to the guys that played today. They never got their heads down and I think it sends a message to the rest of the league that we are starting to play better. We are pleased, but we don't want to get too high, it is just one win."
Brian Ching, on the game: "It was a battle. They have a good team and at the beginning they kind of took us to it and they got their goal, but then we got our legs under us. Unfortunately it took another goal against us to get our legs under us. I thought we did well to battle back and score two. We are just happy to come away with the win."
Todd Dunivant, on his winning penalty kick: "I felt good about it. We felt like we should put them away, and everyone in front of me did it and all the guys buried them, so I knew that I had to step up."
Jon Conway, on game: "I felt good out there. The guys played really well in front of me and I was comfortable out there. When I knew it was going to penalty kicks, I knew what I had to do. I just had to force them to miss one shot and I knew that we would win."
U.S. Open Cup
San Jose Earthquakes 2, Minnesota Thunder 2 (SJ wins 5-4 on penalty kicks)
St. Paul, Minn
MIN - Tarley (Alberts) 4
SJ--Ching (Agoos) 24
MIN--Branan (Matteo) 77
Penalty Kick Summary:
MIN - Menyongar (G); Alberts (M); Matteo (G); Branan (G); Ferruzzi (G)
SJ - Donovan (G); Ching (G); Mulrooney (G); De Rosario (G); Dunivant (G)
MIN - Joe Warren, Dustin Brunt, Brent Jacquette, Dustin Branan, Freddy Juarez, Jeff Matteo, Kevin Friedland, Jay Alberts, Godfrey tenoff (Marco Feruzzi, 76), Melvin Tarley, David Castellanos (Johnny Menyongar, 73)
TOTAL SHOTS: 17 FOULS: 27 ; OFFSIDE: 6; CORNER KICKS: 11; SAVES: Warren 4; CAUTIONS: None; EJECTIONS: None.
SJ - Jon Conway, Jeff Agoos (Dwayne De Rosario, 45), Craig Waibel, Todd Dunivant, Ryan Cochrane, Ramiro Corrales, Ronnie Ekelund (Tighe Dombrowski, 90), Richard Mulrooney, Brian Mullan (Ian Russell, 100), Landon Donovan, Brian Ching
TOTAL SHOTS: 14; FOULS: 29; OFFSIDE: 1; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: Conway 7; CAUTIONS: Corrales 44, Mullan 63, Cochrane 80, Corrales 109; EJECTIONS: Corrales 109
Referee: Richard Heron
Referee's Assistants: Jose Corro, Troy Cohrs
4th Official: Fotis Bazakos