KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Teal Bunbury continued his hot streak against the Colorado Rapids, helping Sporting Kansas City reach the quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
Bunbury’s 79th-minute goal on Tuesday night, off a headed assist from C.J. Sapong, iced Sporting’s 2-0 win and propelled them into a June 26 home matchup against the Dayton Dutch Lions of USL Pro. Dayton advanced by beating the PDL’s Michigan Bucks 2-1 earlier Tuesday.
Bunbury has three goals in two meetings with Colorado this season, after netting twice in a 2-2 league draw last month.
Colorado ‘keeper Matt Pickens was charged with an own goal that put Sporting up 1-0 in the 28th minute – an especially tough break for the Rapids because it came after a spectacular save.
Graham Zusi sent a long free kick into the area, and Pickens dove to his left to stop Aurélien Collin’s header. He got a hand to it, sending the ball caroming off the post before it cruelly bounced off Pickens and rolled into the net.
But just as they did in fighting back from a 2-0 deficit in that 2-all draw, however, the Rapids responded to the goal with increased energy.
Tony Cascio helped Colorado control the tempo through the late first half and nearly pulled one back in the 36th, only to see his low shot roll just outside the left post.
The Rapids came out pressing early in the second half and narrowly missed another equalizer in the 52nd. Martín Rivero fed Jaime Castrillón after a long run down the right, but Castrillón’s shot pinged off the crossbar for a goal kick.
That set the stage for Bunbury’s late clincher.
Substitute Soony Saad’s cross was deflected into the air by Rapids defender Kosuke Kimura, and Sapong’s header found Bunbury all alone in the center of the area for a one-time volley off the outside of his right foot.
It marks the second consecutive year SKC have made the USOC quarterfinals. In 2011, they lost to USL Pro side Richmond Kickers 2-0.
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.