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Sporting KC wins overtime thriller against FC Dallas

Sporting KC Goalkeeper Tim Melia. (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images)
Sporting KC Goalkeeper Tim Melia. (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images) /
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Sporting KC took on FC Dallas in the quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Kansas City won in an exciting match that went into overtime.

Just over fifteen minutes into the game, things looked really bad for Sporting KC.  Seth Sinovic was hit with a questionable red card that left SKC a man down for the rest of regulation. However, not only was Kansas City able to hold their own for the rest of the game, they actually managed to pull off an incredible win to advance in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.

It was a memorable performance by the Sporting KC defense and Tim Melia. Down a man and without defensive stars Graham Zusi and Matt Besler, SKC still managed to shut out one of the best scoring teams in the MLS for 120 minutes. There is no way you can overstate how impressive that is.

Time ran out in regulation, and Sporting KC went into overtime still tied at 0-0. That was incredible enough. However, things quickly turned around in overtime as FC Dallas suffered a red card of their own when Maxi Urruti was ejected on his second yellow after his bicycle attempt connected squarely with the head of KC defender Ike Opara.

Latif Blessing Shines

With the sides evened up in overtime, it was Latif Blessing who took the match over. Aided by a fresh Benny Feilhaber, Blessing took an excellent run and found the back of the net to put SKC up 1-0. That would end up being the difference in the match, but not the end of it.

Just a few minutes later, Latif Blessing would put a back heel on a Jimmy Medranda ball to sneak it in past the keeper. It was clear at this point that Blessing was feeling it and had all the confidence in the world.

After his second goal, Latif Blessing got pretty cheeky with the FC Dallas defense. That came to a head when he took a blatant hard tackle from a defender after having some fun with the ball at the top of the penalty area. Fortunately, the match was about over, so things didn’t have time to truly boil over.

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Tim Melia And The Defense Are Beasts

However, the star of this match has to be Tim Melia. The best goalkeeper in the MLS this year, Melia pitched yet another shutout. He had several incredible saves on what should have been game winning goals in regulation.

Tim Melia also got some impressive help from his defenders Eric Palmer-Brown and Ike Opara. The center of the Sporting KC penalty area was simply impenetrable all night. Palmer-Brown, especially, had an impressive performance with a number of incredible clearances.

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On To The Semi-Finals

Sporting KC now heads to the semi-finals of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. They will now face San Jose in the next round. SKC has faced the Quakes twice this year, winning the first match and playing the second to a draw. They will certainly feel confident in that match.

The US Open Cup is one of the more prestigious honors in MLS. The fact that it is named after Lamar Hunt, who means so much to sports in Kansas City, is another reason why this is big for Sporting. It would also symbolize a return to prominence for SKC, which is what they are really after.

Sporting KC has been one of the most impressive teams in MLS this year. A huge win over FC Dallas should help build some momentum moving forward for the rest of the season. The fact that they could do it down a man and missing three star players is all the more satisfying. This team is for real.