Thursday August 13th, 2015

Sporting Kansas City erased an early 1–0 deficit to surge to a 3–1 victory over Real Salt Lake while the Philadelphia Union got a 74th-minute goal from Sebastien Le Toux to top the Chicago Fire, 1–0, in Wednesday night's Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinals. The Union advance to their second consecutive Open Cup final while Sporting KC will appear in their third since MLS teams joined the competition in 1996.

After Soni Mustivar headed in Benny Feilhaber's free kick for a 35th-minute equalizer, Sporting KC scored twice in the final 15 minutes to win a hotly contested match in Kansas City. Feilhaber continued his outstanding season with the game-winning goal in the 80th minute and two assists. Feilhaber's goal was courtesy of a spectacular run from Dom Dwyer, who shed two Salt Lake defenders before drilling the left post from inside the penalty area, allowing Feilhaber to shoot the rebound into an open net. 

Krisztian Nemeth tacked on an insurance goal in the 85th minute after Real Salt Lake's Olmes Garcia misplayed Feilhaber's long, arcing pass into the penalty area that landed at Nemeth's feet. Sporting KC returns to the final for the first time since 2012, when it defeated the Seattle Sounders in penalty kicks.

An unlikely finalist for the second consecutive season, the Union continued their dark-horse run to the final when Le Toux, the leading scorer in modern Open Cup history, finished a crisp shot from the top of the penalty area that banked off the right post and past Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson. After losing to the Sounders in last year's Open Cup final, the Union will bid for their first trophy in club history despite its unsightly 6-13-5 record in league play this season. 

-- Gabriel Baumgaertner

 

 

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