Recap: Sporting KC advances in U.S. Open Cup with 1-0 victory over USL's St. Louis FC

Sporting Kansas City advanced to the Round of 16 in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a 1-0 victory over St. Louis FC on Tuesday at Sporting Park. Graham Zusi scored the game's only goal, heading home a cross from Benny Feilhaber in the 70th minute, while Tim Melia earned his fourth straight shutout.

The club's pursuit of a third U.S. Open Cup title will continue on June 30 or July 1 with the Round of 16 draw to be held at 10 a.m. CT on Thursday via USsoccer.com to determine the opponent, date and location. If Sporting Kansas City is awarded the right to host, the match will again be included in season ticket packages as Special Game A and single-game tickets will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. CT on Friday via Ticketmaster.com.

VOTE: BurgerFi Man of the Match

JACK IN THE BOX: The day after Sporting KC has four or more shots on goal, receive a free breakfast biscuit sandwich with any purchase at Jack in the Box locations in the Kansas City area.

In front of 19,298 fans - the largest fourth round crowd in the tournament's modern era and a new club record for the competition - Sporting Kansas City eliminated their cross-state rivals in the team's first competitive match against an opponent from St. Louis. With the win, Sporting Kansas City extends its unbeaten streak to eight games and remains unbeaten (6-0-1) all-time in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 32.

Zusi, a three-time MLS All-Star and World Cup veteran, was active in the attack as Sporting Kansas City sustained possession throughout Tuesday's performance. His free kick found Dom Dwyer in the 17th minute only to see the Englishman's header crash into the crossbar and then Zusi had a header of his own cleared off the line by Mike Ambersley on the final chance of a scoreless first half.

St. Louis FC goalkeeper Mark Pais made three saves on Tuesday with his best moment coming in the 56th minute. Pais, who was on the bench for the Des Moines Menace in a 2013 U.S. Open Cup match at Sporting Park, reacted well to palm away an inadvertent deflection off defender Sam Fink.

The breakthrough goal came with 20 minutes to play as two of Major League Soccer's best playmakers combined for the game-winning goal. Feilhaber delivered a curling cross met by Zusi with a glancing header from close range for his second goal of the season and third career U.S. Open Cup tally. Feilhaber now has eight assists across all competition, most among all Sporting KC players.

The USL expansion side, facing an MLS opponent for the first time, was held without a shot on goal on Tuesday, though weren't without scoring opportunities despite missing the team's leading scorer (Bryan Gaul) due to suspension. Melia raced well outside his penalty area in the 12th minute to win the ball versus Jermie Lynch with a sliding challenge.

Lynch again threatened at the 63-minute mark, snapping a header over the crossbar from six yards out on a cross from Chicago Fire loanee Patrick Doody. Twenty minutes later, Ambersley came close with his effort to equalize however the left-footed shot sailed high of the near post.

Sporting Kansas City (6-2-6, 3rd place) will resume their regular season campaign against Real Salt Lake (4-5-6, 9th place) at 9 p.m. CT on Sunday at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Soccer Sunday match-up will be nationally televised on FOX Sports 1 and features two teams that have reached the postseason in each of the last five years, highlighted by a meeting in the 2013 MLS Cup final.

2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
Fourth Round (Round of 32) 
  Sporting Park | Kansas City, Kan.
Attendance: 19,298 (club USOC record)
Weather: 77 degrees and cloudy
 

Score

1

2

F

Sporting KC (1-0-0)

0

1

1

St. Louis FC (1-1-1)

0

0

0

Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Chance Myers (Saad Abdul-Salaam 56), Kevin Ellis, Matt Besler (c), Amadou Dia (Marcel de Jong 81); Soni Mustivar, Benny Feilhaber, Roger Espinoza; Connor Hallisey (Jacob Peterson 68), Dom Dwyer, Graham Zusi

Subs Not Used: Jon Kempin, Jalil Anibaba, Servando Carrasco, Jimmy Medranda

St. Louis FC: Mark Pais; Jacob Bushue, Chad Vandegriffe, Sam Fink, Patrick Doody; Parker Maher, Brandon Barklage (c), Jamiel Hardware (Jordan Roberts 79), Brian Ciesulka (Charles Renken 68); Jermie Lynch (Kingsley Bryce 80), Mike Ambersley

Subs Not Used: Alex Riggs, Oskar Gasecki, Kentaro Takada, Nick Bibbs

Stats

SKC

STL

Shots

12

2

Shots on Goal

5

0

Saves

0

3

Fouls

3

10

Offside

4

1

Corner Kicks

4

0

Misconduct Summary:
STL -- Brandon Barklage (caution; reckless foul) 54
STL -- Charles Renken (caution; reckless foul) 86

Scoring Summary:
SKC -- Graham Zusi 1 (Benny Feilhaber 1) 70

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