Sunday, May 16, 2010

Athletics into Open Cup (UPDATED)

Last night after almost everyone went home after the Wizards and the Fire tied 2-2, another Kansas City vs Chicago game took place, as KC Athletics took on AAC Eagles out of Chicago in a "Win and You're In" US Open Cup qualifier. Unfortunately I was unable to get any sort of lineup or roster so I don't have any player names or lineups to work off of. Athletics game from a goal down twice and gave up a lead in the second half, but ended up finishing off the Eagles in penalty kicks the same way they finished off the Des Moines Menace USASA in the previous round. The Eagles grabbed an early lead in the 6th minute as the Eagles played a ball over the top that the Eagles forward brought down, took into the box and beat Athletics keeper. There were shouts for a hand ball that easily could have been called, but was not and Athletics found themselves down 1-0 very early.

KC found the equalizer in the 27th minute as they pounced on a rebound in front of goal and the teams were back level. Throughout the rest of the first half, the Eagles were the more dominating side as they controlled possession and kept the Athletics chasing the ball for much of the half. KC would occasionally break out but were unable to find net. Late in the first half the Eagles retook the lead on a shot taken from the right side of the penalty area that the Athletics keeper seemed to expect to go wide as he didn't make a move on the ball. Instead the ball rolled into the back post restoring the Eagles lead.

After the half time break, KC came out and almost immediately found the equalizer. Attacking down their left hand side the Athletics had a shot that was well saved by the Eagles goalkeeper, but the parried shot went right into the path of an Athletics attacker who scored on the half volley as the Eagles goalkeeper didn't have enough time to recover after the initial save. KC continued to push to find another goal as the second half went on, and were rewarded in the 59th minute. The Athletics 3rd goal was the best of the night by far and started on the Athletics left side with a cross. The cross went to the back post where it was then redirected back into the middle where it was meant by a diving header from around the PK spot that hit the underside of the crossbar and in. The header had enough pace on it that even though it was right above the keeper's head, he had no time to react and get his hand up to save it.

After grabbing the 3-2 lead, KC sat back a little bit more absorbing move pressure from the Eagles and trying to spring on the counter. Both sides had their chances, and with 15 minutes remaining the Eagles were the ones that found net, again on a rebounded shot that was tucked in by a back post runner. Both teams had a few chances in the final 15 minutes, but none really tested either keeper much so on to extra time it went. In extra time the Athletics had the better of the chances forcing the Eagles' goalkeeper and defenders into a few good saves, but neither side was able to find net so it went onto penalty kicks.

In penalty kicks the Athletics led off and scored, followed by the Eagles. In the second round, KC again put the ball away making it 2-1. The Eagles second attempt though was saved by the Athletics keeper giving the Athletics the advantage. The two teams traded goals for the next 2 rounds, so they headed into the fifth round with the Athletics leading 4-3. The Athletics buried their 5th and final attempt giving the Athletics the victory on penalties 3-3(5-3). The Athletics now enter the Open Cup proper in the first round which is set to take place on June 15th. Congratulations to the Athletics on the win and advancement. Good luck in the first round and hopefully the match will be in KC for fans to come out and see.

UPDATE: I got more information from the KC Athletics on who the goal scorers were for the Athletics, Kyle Perkins scored Athletics first and third goal, while Marty Johnston scored Athletics second goal. In the PK shootout, Stephen Hoffman, Josh McDaniel, Ryan Barber, Geoff Miles and Marty Johnston all scored their PKs.

I was also asked to pass along the Athletics gratitude to the Wizards organization for allowing them the chance to play at Community America Ballpark. And they also want to thank all the fans that stayed around in the rain to cheer them on, they appreciate the support.


Anonymous said...

Well done Athletics, hopefully they're at home in the Open Cup and they get another game.

Ron Bishop said...

Thanks for the great summary. Really well done.

Due to combination of weather and kids, I wasn't able to catch this match. Great to see soccer - other than high profile Wizards - doing well and be reported in KC.

The Wizards are fun, but there are additional opportunities for great soccer in the area. Great to see the Wizards return the support! Lifts everyone.