[U.S. OPEN CUP] Sporting Kansas City ended the Seattle Sounders' bid for a record fourth straight Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title with a 3-2 shootout win after
the final ended in a 1-1 tie. Such was the futility in the shootout that more players missed attempts than made them. Paulo Nagamura got a second chance -- and
converted in the decisive fifth round -- when referee Ricardo Salazar ruled Sounders goalie Michael Gspurning had moved
before he saved the Brazilian's first shot.
"If he wasn't off his line, he never could have saved my PK," Nagamura said afterwards. "The second one, I was pretty confident."
Matt Besler and Kamara scored the other two penalties in the shootout for SKC. Gspurning saved Honduran Olympic star Roger Espinoza's shot in round 2, and Graham Zusi missed his attempted Panenka badly in round 4.
SKC coach Peter Vermes was correct when he told his players before the shootout, "Whatever happens, the next guy up needs to clear his mind and get on with his business."
Brad Evans and Marc Burch had given Seattle a 2-1 lead, but the last three Sounders -- Osvaldo Alonso, German newcomer Christian Tiffert and Eddie Johnson -- all missed.
"You can always call a goalkeeper for moving," Schmid said. "Every goalkeeper. Nielsen moved ahead of every shot as well, but he didn't call anything back there. All of a sudden, he calls that indiscriminately."
Rain, hail, lightning and thunder in the Kansas City area delayed the start of the game for 45 minutes but didn't prevent an announced crowd of 18,873 fans from watching at Livestrong Sporting Park.
Seattle's Zach Scott was involved in the game's goals scored two minutes apart late in regulation.
He was called for a handball in the area, allowing Kei Kamara to put SKC ahead, but the defender made amends for his error when he scored off Mauro Rosales' cross.
Schmid didn't like the handball call, either.
“It’s difficult, you’re playing against a team at home so the crowd helps them,” he said. “When you’re playing against the referee as well, and he makes some absolutely, I thought, ridiculous calls, it’s very tough to win.”
Aug. 8 in Kansas City, Kan.
Sporting KC 1 Seattle 1 (Sporting KC wins 3-2 on penalties). Goals: Kamara (pen.) 84; Scott (Rosales) 86.
Sporting KC -- Nielsen, Myers, Olum, Besler, Sinovic (Harrington 100); Julio Cesar, Nagamura, Espinoza; Zusi, Bunbury (Sapong 89), Kamara.
Seattle -- Gspurning; Gonzalez, Scott, Hurtado, Ianni; Caskey (Evans 69), Rose (Tiffert 69), Rosales, Alonso; Montero (Burch 107), Johnson.
Red Card: Seattle -- Ianni 118.