Kansas City, KS – Eddie Johnson lifted his penalty kick over the crossbar, and Seattle Sounders FC turned over the U.S. Open Cup title to Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday night.
Following a 1-1 draw after 120 minutes, Sporting and Seattle combined to score on just five of the 10 shootout attempts - with three of those off target - as Kansas City won on penalty kicks, 3-2, at Livestrong Sporting Park.
Sporting won its second Open Cup title and snapped a three-year undefeated run in the tournament for Seattle, which had won the last three championships. The Sounders were unbeaten in 18 Open Cup matches since joining MLS.
Kei Kamara scored in the 84th minute on a penalty for Sporting, and Zach Scott - who gave up the penalty on a handball - answered just two minutes later for Seattle for the only goals in the match.
Seattle converted its first two penalties in the shootout, and goalie Michael Gspurning made a save on Roger Espinoza, as Sounders FC took control early in the shootout.
But Osvaldo Alonso fired high, Christian Tiffert was denied by Sporting goalie Jimmy Nielsen, and Johnson lifted the final attempt high for Seattle.
Graham Zusi also missed for Sporting, but conversions from Kamara, Matt Besler and Paulo Nagamura - who had his initial attempt saved but got a second chance - gave Kansas City the win in penalties.
Sporting, which also won the Open Cup in 2004, secured a place in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League with the win.
Sporting and Seattle traded chances in the first half, as Kamara found the bar from long distance in the 24th for Kansas City and Johnson forced a save from Nielsen in the 30th for Sounders FC.
Chances remained rare until the closing minutes of regulation, when a handball in the area on Scott set up a penalty for Kamara in the 84th. Kamara converted to the bottom right, as Kansas City positioned itself for the title.
But Scott redeemed himself just two minutes later, as he ran under a free kick from Mauro Rosales and turned a header from 12 yards inside the left post with Nielsen unable to even react to the shot.
Kamara had the only good chance of the first extra period, but Gspurning made a routine save to keep the match tied after 105 minutes. The second added 15 minutes produced no chances from either side, but Sounders FC did lose Patrick Ianni to a second yellow card with two minutes remaining.
And in the shootout, with the teams level at 2-2 after four kicks, Nagamura - who played with a gash on his face after an early challenge - took advantage of a second chance to score the winning penalty.
Nagamura had his first attempt saved at the right post, but Gspurning came off his line too early, and his second attempt was converted to the left. Johnson - who scored the winner against Chelsea in the MLS All-Star Game - could not answer, as he fired high to end the three-year reign for Seattle.