Match Recap

Recap: Sporting KC advances in U.S. Open Cup with 2-1 victory over Union Omaha

Sporting Kansas City earned a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Union Omaha in the 2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 32 at UNO Caniglia Field on Wednesday night. With the score tied 1-1 at the end of regulation, Sporting found a last-gasp winner through Alan Pulido in the final minute of extra time to advance to host FC Tulsa in the Round of 16 on May 21 or 22.

Manager Peter Vermes handed first starts of the season to defender Robert Castellanos, midfielder Felipe Hernandez and forward Khiry Shelton along with a first-ever start in Sporting blue for newcomer Zorhan Bassong at left back. In addition, Kayden Pierre, Nemanja Radoja and Willy Agada also entered the XI with only John Pulskamp, Robert Voloder, Erik Thommy and Marinos Tzionis maintaining their spots from the weekend’s match at Real Salt Lake.

Sporting KC started the match brightly with Tzionis and Pierre creating some danger on either flank before both teams began to settle as the half wore on. Sporting created the first proper chance of the match in the 27th minute with Hernandez shimmying on the edge of the area before seeing his low shot saved by Rashid Nuhu.

Two minutes later, Thommy took aim from 25 yards and his swerving effort seemed destined for the top corner but Nuhu managed to get his fingertips to the ball and push it over the bar.

Omaha, who began posing more of a threat on the counter as the half wore on, took the lead in the 31st minute as former Atlanta United Homegrown player and U.S. Youth National Team member Lagos Kunga pounced on a loose ball following a scramble in the box and saw his effort deflected into the back of the net.

Looking to pull level before halftime, Thommy fed Bassong on the edge of the area in the 42nd minute but he saw his half-volley corralled by Nuhu in the Omaha goal.

Sporting got off to the perfect start in the second half when Tzionis won the ball back high up the field and rifled a left-footed effort off the post and in to level the score at 1-1 in the 48th minute.

The visitors began pushing for a go-ahead goal and three minutes later almost found it when Voloder rose highest to meet Bassong’s corner kick but directed his header narrowly wide. Omaha almost landed a counterstrike of their own seconds later as Aaron Gomez latched onto a long ball over the top but lofted his finish over the bar with only Pulskamp to beat.

Sporting kept probing throughout the second half and introduced regulars Daniel Salloi, Alan Pulido and Johnny Russell off the bench and it was the Scotsman that almost found the winner in the 88th minute as his curling effort from 25 yards was tipped around the post by Nuhu.

Deep into second-half stoppage time, Voloder fought his way through a crowd of bodies to meet a corner from Russell but once again could only place his header inches wide of the post as the regulation finished 1-1 and the game headed to extra time.

The two sides traded chances in the first period of extra time. Omaha took the initiative early and substitute Ryen Jiba cut inside from the left wing before striking a low effort that trickled just wide of the post in the 94th minute.

As the clock ticked into the 100th minute, Sporting were inches from taking the lead when Russell chested the ball down inside the area and sent a looping finish toward the far post that crashed against the woodwork and out.

With the game seemingly headed to penalty kicks as the clock ticked down to the final seconds, Pulido received a pass from Tzionis on the edge of the area and sent a clinical finish into the bottom corner in the 120th minute to break Omaha hearts and send Sporting through to the Round of 16.

Sporting KC returns to MLS action this weekend with a home match against Houston Dynamo FC at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday night. Kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. CT on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV as well as Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish) on the radio. Tickets are available via

2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup | Round of 32
UNO Caniglia Field | Omaha, NE
Attendance: 4,733
Weather: 68 degrees and partly cloudy

Sporting Kansas City 2-1 Union Omaha
Sporting Kansas City
Union Omaha

Sporting Kansas City: John Pulskamp; Kayden Pierre, Robert Castellanos, Robert Voloder, Zorhan Bassong (Andreu Fontas 97’); Nemanja Radoja (C), Felipe Hernandez (Memo Rodriguez 46’), Erik Thommy (Alan Pulido 61’); Khiry Shelton (Daniel Salloi 46’ (Jake Davis 117’)), Willy Agada (Johnny Russell 69’), Marinos Tzionis

Subs Not Used: Ryan Schewe

Union Omaha: Rashid Nuhu (C); Dion Acoff (Zeiko Lewis 98’), Marco Milanese (Ryen Jiba 93+), Luca Mastrantonio, Mechack Jerome, Blake Malone; Nortei Nortey (Adam Aoumaich 117’), Pedro Dolabella (Brandon Knapp 77’), Joe Gallardo; Josue Gomez, Lagos Kunga (Missael Rodriguez 76’)

Subs Not Used: Wallis Lapsley, Anderson Holt

Scoring Summary:
OMA – Lagos Kunga 2 (Unassisted) 31’
SKC – Marinos Tzionis 1 (Unassisted) 48’
SKC – Alan Pulido 1 (Marinos Tzionis 1) 120’

Misconduct Summary:
OMA – Luca Mastrantonio (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 57’
SKC – Memo Rodriguez (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 67’
SKC – Johnny Russell (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 78’
OMA – Brandon Knapp (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 81’
OMA – Joe Gallardo (Yellow Card; Time Wasting) 97+
SKC – Nemanja Radoja (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 91’
SKC – Robert Voloder (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 108’

Match Statistics
Shots on Goal
Corner Kicks

Referee: Nabil Bensalah
Assistant Referee: Matthew Seem
Assistant Referee: Justin Mack
Fourth Official: Andrew Scheneman