Wednesday, July 9, 2014





Sporting KC claims MLS Cup on PKs


December 07. 2013 10:50PM
DAVE SKRETTA AP Sports Writer



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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Aurelien Collin scored the equalizer in the second half of the MLS Cup, then drove home the deciding penalty kick to give Sporting Kansas City a dramatic victory over Real Salt Lake on Saturday night and its first league title since 2000.


Alvaro Saborio, who missed the Western Conference finals because of injury, scored for Real Salt Lake in the 52nd minute, but Collin answered with a header in the 76th minute.


It remained that way through regulation and 30 minutes of overtime, and then the teams engaged in the longest penalty-kick shootout in championship history — one that both sides had chances to win before Collin’s shot and Jimmy Nielsen’s save gave Sporting KC the 7-6 victory.


Sporting KC’s Graham Zusi had a chance to wrap it up in the first stage of penalty kicks, but he missed high and Real Salt Lake’s Javier Morales made good to force sudden death. Real Salt Lake had a chance when Lawrence Olum missed wide, but Nielsen made a diving save on Sebastian Velasquez.


Two rounds later, Collin placed his penalty kick just out of the reach of goalkeeper Nick Rimando, and Real Salt Lake’s Lovel Palmer was unable to answer him as Sporting KC players and coaches spilled off the sideline and fireworks began popping over sold-out Sporting Park.


It was the third time the MLS Cup has gone to a penalty kick shootout. Houston beat New England in 2006, and Real Salt Lake topped the Los Angeles Galaxy 5-4 in 2009 for its only title.


It also was the coldest MLS Cup in history with a game-time temperature of 22 degrees and a wind chill of 12, and that only dropped as the sun set and the game pressed through overtime.


Even in the frigid Midwestern weather, tempers ran hot from the start.


Real Salt Lake’s Chris Wingert picked up a yellow card midway through the first half when he plowed over C.J. Sapong, and Collin earned one for a reckless tackle. Saborio picked up his yellow card for running through Sporting KC’s Benny Feilhaber, then bumping him back to the pitch.


The physical nature of the first half resulted in precious few scoring chances.




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