Giant Killers! Orlando City Top 2012 US Open Cup Champs Sporting KC

Filed under: Orlando City Soccer |

A Long Tan goal in just the second minute of play was all Orlando City SC needed Wednesday night to pull of a huge shock at Sporting Park in Kansas City, as Orlando topped Major League Soccer affiliate (MLS) Sporting Kansas City 1-0. The win sees Orlando advance to the quarterfinals of the US Open Cup for the first time in franchise history.

“It’s a really big result and something the players can be proud of,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “All of a sudden we are a couple games from something really special. I’m looking forward to playing the next round opponent.”  

It didn’t take Orlando very long to take the lead, with Forward Long Tan capitalizing on a pass from midfielder starlight Adama Mbengue. in just the 2nd minute of play. The former Orlando City U23s star found Long Tan with a neat pass as he muscled his way behind the Sporting defense. The former DC United striker made no mistake as he slotted the ball past Goalkeeper Eric Kronberg in the bottom-left corner to give the Lions the 1-0 advantage.

Orlando continued to move men forward against the MLS side, who responded with chances of their own throughout the later part of the second half. Sporting KC, holding a 6-5-4 record in MLS regular season play coming into the game, began to produce opportunities as the game went on- whipping in dangerous corners and crosses that kept the Lions on red alert. Despite the increasing chances, Orlando weathered the storm and went into the half time break 1-0 up.

Looking for a spark, Sporting made a substitution at the start of the second half  as leading goalscorerC.J. Sapong came on.

Despite the added pressure, Lions’ Goalkeeper and Team Captain Miguel Gallardo held steady – making key saves in succession in the 60th minute to keep the Lions ahead. The 2011 USL PRO Goalkeeper of the Year came up big as Sporting continued to push forward, leading the Orlando backline that featured second-time starter Justin Clark and veteran Rob Valentino.

The game headed into added time and mysteriously the five minutes of time shown on the board eventually ended up being seven minutes as the referee seemed intent on playing until Sporting scored. Unfortunately for him, Sporting Kansas City were unable to score and Orlando prevailed 1-0 over their MLS affiliate.

The win marked the club’s first-ever win over Sporting KC and they now advance to the quarterfinal round of the US Open Cup for the first time in club history. . The quarterfinal opponent will be the winner of the Chicago Fire/Columbus Crew match, which was postponed until Thursday due to weather. The match will be held on Wednesday, June 26, at the opponent’s venue. and this time, the four Sporting loanees, including Dom Dwyer, Christian Duke, Yann Songo’o and Jon Kempin who were ineligible for this game will be eligible barring a call-up from Kansas City.

The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the United States and is open to United States Soccer Federation (USSF) affiliated teams. The Open Cup was first held in 1913, with this year marking the centennial edition of the tournament. This year’s field consisted of 68 teams, the largest field in US Open Cup history. Can Orlando go another step closer to winning it?We’ll let you know!

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