A brace by Latif Blessing in the first half of extra time helped lift Sporting Kansas City to a wild 3-0 win over FC Dallas in the quarterfinal round of the US Open Cup Tuesday night at Children’s Mercy Park.
Max Urruti was sent off for a second bookable offense in the 101st minute when he connected with the head of Ike Opara on a bicycle kick attempt just inside the box. Opara was stretchered off and taken to a nearby hospital for observation.
Moments later, Benny Feilhaber had space on a counter and slipped a pass to Blessing, who slotted inside the far post to put Sporting up 1-0 in stoppage time of the first half of extra time.
FCD went down to nine men when Javier Morales pulled back Feilhaber in the waning moments of the first half of extra time stoppage time. Blessing then redirected a shot by Jimmy Medrana to put SKC up by two goals.
Daniel Salloi capped the scoring for Sporting in the 119th minute, the final dagger to seal advancement for the 2015 Open Cup champions at the reigning title holders' expense.
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WOW, JUST WOW
: What drama the 30 minutes of extra-time produced. It had everything – red cards, a serious injury to Ike Opara and heart-pounding goals – two by Blessing and the icing on the cake by Salloi. At the end, perhaps Matt Besler, who is with the US men’s national team in Tampa, best summed up the emotions.
: Before the match, Sporting and Dallas participated in a moment of silence in remembrance of SKC co-owner Neal Patterson, who died on Sunday at the age of 67.
Sporting Kansas City (4-3-3, right to left): 29-Tim Melia (GK) – 17-Saad Abdul-Salaam, 3-Ike Opara (Kevin Ellis, 105'), 2-Erik Palmer-Brown, 15-Seth Sinovic – 27-Roger Espinoza, 6-Ilie Sanchez, 94-Jimmy Medranda – 7-Gerso (Danel Salloi, 85'), 11-Diego Rubio (Benny Feilhaber, 90'), 9-Latif Blessing
FC Dallas (4-2-3-1, right to left): 1-Jesse Gonzalez (GK) – 2- Hernan Grana, 25-Walker Zimmerman, 14-Atiba Harris, 12-Ryan Hollingshead (Javier Morales, 88') – 7-Carlos Gruezo, 8-Victor Ulloa (13-Tesho Akindele, 46') – 21-Michael Barrios, 10-Mauro Diaz, 20-Roland Lamah (Cristian Colman, 105') – 37-Maxi Urruti