2009 Jul 7

Penalty kick at 89' sends Sounders FC to US Open Cup semifinals

Seattle Sounders FC  1 - 0  Kansas City Wizards

Starfire Stadium, Tukwila, WA

89' SEA: Sebastien Le Toux (PK)

Seattle: Kasey Keller; James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni, Tyson Wahl; Sanna Nyassi (Roger Levesque 78'), Stephen King, Nathan Sturgis (Peter Vagenas 89'), Steve Zakuani (Sebastien Le Toux 71'); Fredy Montero, Nate Jaqua. Substitutes not used: Terry Boss, Evan Brown, Zach Scott, Lamar Neagle.

KC: Kevin Hartman; Jonathan Leathers (Lance Watson 46'), Aaron Hohlbein, Rauwshan McKenzie, Matt Besler; Herculez Gomez, Santiago Hirsig, Jack Jewsbury, Michael Harrington; Josh Wolff, Abe Thompson (Claudio Lopez 70'). Substitutes not used: Michael Kraus, Matt Marquess, Kurt Morsink, Boris Pardo, Graham Zusi.

Match report from Sounders FC:

Sebastien Le Toux scored on a penalty kick in the 89th minute to send the Seattle Sounders FC into the semifinal round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a 1-0 win over the Kansas City Wizards on Tuesday night at before a capacity crowd of 4,352 at Starfire Sports Stadium.

Seattle will host the Houston Dynamo at Starfire on July 21. The Sounders FC also faces the Dynamo this Saturday in an MLS game on Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field. Kickoff is 1 p.m.

Houston defeated the Charleston Battery, 4-0, in another quarterfinal Open Cup game played on Tuesday night.

Le Toux scored his 11th career Open Cup goal by beating Kansas City keeper Kevin Hartman to the lower left corner. Le Toux had entered the match in the 71st minute as a substitute.

The penalty was called by referee Abiodun Okulaja after Sounders FC forward Fredy Montero was taken down in the box by a Wizards defender. Before being fouled, Montero had latched onto a pass by Stephen King on the left side of the box.

Seattle has now won three in a row in all competitions and is undefeated (4-0-2) in its last six games in league and cup play.

Kansas City had been the only team to defeat Seattle at home this season, handing the Sounders FC a 1-0 defeat in an MLS game on April 11.

Seattle finished with a 12-6 advantage in shots and keeper Kasey Keller made only one save in posting the shutout. The Wizards owned a 7-3 edge in corner kicks.

The Wizards finished with 10 men after Santiago Hirsig received his second yellow card during added time of the second half.

D.C. United, the defending Open Cup champion, will host the Rochester Rhinos of USL-1 in the other semifinal match.

          SEA   KC
Shots:     12    6
Saves:      1    2
Corners:    3    7
Fouls:      9   14
Offsides:   1    4

76' KC: Hirsig cautioned
79' SEA: Montero cautioned
90' KC: Hirsig cautioned and sent off for his second caution

Referees: Abiodun Okulaja; Mike Rottersman, Jeff Hosking; Josh Wilkens

Attendance: 4,352

Seattle Sounders FC Quotes

Head Coach Sigi Schmid:

(On PK in 89th minute) "It took long enough for sure, I thought overall in the run of play we created a lot of chances in the first half, I thought we were a little unfortunate (not finishing). I thought we created some good chances in the second half as well, Sanna Nyassi's chance when he broke in on the right, the one that Montero had the left footed shot that he put wide, Steve Zakuani, the one where he cut in and put the right-footed shot over the top, those were good chances in the second half as well, but in the second half they controlled a little better the middle of the field, and gave us a little more of a fight, but they're a good team and you always have to be prepared for that. I was happy that we hung in there, I was happy that we played tough defensively, didn't break down, didn't give anything away, and that allowed us to be in the position that when we were awarded the penalty we were able to take advantage and turn it into a win."

(On seeking the Open Cup title) "It's always about titles and you always want to win games, and all the years when I was with Columbus we never got in to the Open Cup in three years so it was a ways away and when I was with LA we got into two finals and won one of them. So we definitely want to get back there, it's definitely exciting and the word on the street is that it might lead to a CONCACAF Champions League spot as well so that's important to the club. I think our guys can for sure smell it now and taste it and obviously the next round is Houston and that's going to be a battle, it's going to be another tough game, but I think our team is looking forward to that. We're basically two steps away from trying to bring a title to Seattle."

(On playing Houston twice in two weeks) "It's always special to play against them. Dominic (Kinnear) is a friend, the coach, I coached Dominic (Kinnear) when he was on the world cup squad and on the national team in 1992 and '93 and now he's a colleague and I'm coaching against him. But Houston certainly is a very difficult team because they have a lot of veteran players. They have a certain way of playing to get eight guys behind the ball and defend like mad. They leave their two guys up front and look to counter and have pace and so-forth. They're very disciplined in their approach, they're very confident in their approach because of their history now, they've won big games, they've won championships, they feel when they get in a tight game that somehow, some way it's going to break for them. But now our team, our history is not as great, we're young and maturing but tonight was the first one where we thought we had it, thought we had it, thought we got the goal but no it didn't come, stay in there, don't give anything away, don't make a mistake, and we got the goal at the end. When we win games like that eventually we'll build up that same character that Houston has. It's great to be able to play them twice in two weeks, it's a good challenge for our team, it's a great opportunity for our fans, to see one of the best teams in the league."

Steve Zakuani

(On sigh of relief with goal at the end) "Yeah I think it is - I think we had a lot of chances. I missed one in the second half, Fredy had one in the second half, so we knew it was kind of coming, but maybe the clock would beat us but thankfully we got a nice peek at the goal and Sebastien was brave enough to step up and put the ball in the goal."

(On chances through the game) "I think so, it's a good sign though, when you're creating the goals because you're just one step away from finishing it. If you're not creating any goals then you're not creating and finishing, so we came in at halftime very happy about that, considering we could keep it going in the second half we had a lot of chances, they didn't really have much, and it was tight again and we were stressed a little bit but we got the win and now we move on to the next round."

Fredy Montero

(On deciding who is going to take the penalty kick) "Sebastian is the official kicker in this tournament and had scored two penalty's before. I had wanted to kick it and had asked him but ultimately the decision is up to him. It is what was best for the team and we scored and that is all that counts."

(On being frustrated on not scoring a goal despite a number of opportunities) "Sure, I always push myself to score. I would have preferred to but what counts is we got the penalty that resulted in a score."

Sebastian Le Toux

(On taking the penalty kick) "I told Fredy that I would take it. I scored and we won. Coach has told it is not good to take the penalty shot when the foul is you."

(On there being pressure to score in that situation) "Of course there is always pressure on you. I knew I had score. I was confident and lucky the keeper did not stop it."

(On the approach he took towards the penalty kick) "I decided right at the start, but I was watching the goalkeeper, and watching him keep his line. I just stayed with my line and was lucky the ball went into the goal."

(On being one match closer to the U.S. Open Cup Final) "It is a very hard game and we have to be ready for this competition. We have to prepare for our next game which is against Houston on Saturday."

Kansas City Wizards Quotes

Curt Onalfo- Head Coach

(On his thoughts referee's decision to call a foul in the penalty box) "I saw a guy five yards off-sides before the play, that was not called and I didn't see a penalty kick. You can't make calls like that to change the game in the 87th minute. This is the third time I have been a part of it with that same referee. I'm beyond disappointed."

(On this being the third incident involving the head referee at tonight's match) "I don't even want to comment on it. It is not even worth it."

(On his team playing well enough to win tonight) "It was a game on the road, that was our sixth game in a very short period of time. Enormous travel and a quarterfinal game where there is money on the line. Disappointed. We will move on."

Kevin Hartman - Goalkeeper

(On a difficult way to end a evenly matched game) "Yeah, it is pretty disappointing. It is always one of those things where the referee decides the game it is tough accept. Guys had their jobs on the line, an opportunity to make some money riding on a questionable penalty-kick."

(On the most frustrating part of having a penalty kick called against them in the final minute) "I think the most frustrating thing for me is it always puts the goalkeeper in such a precarious position. I really think it's really demanding of the referee to make sure he is really watching it closely and not influenced by the fans. Unfortunately in that case that I had spread and I was almost getting up when he had kicked it off the signed boards. It would be one if he dove once, but he dove three times in the final five minutes. It is one of those things that as professional player it is part of the game. You have to put your trust in what is being done by the officials. Unfortunately we got a short end the stick."

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