CHESTER, Pa. -- The Union used up every last drop of energy on Wednesday, but it wasnt enough to keep their US Open Cup run alive.
The opening half was one of trial and error for the energetic Union, who controlled play but couldnt break the Sporting KC back line. After scoring four goals against KC the last time the two teams played in MLS action on June 23, it makes sense that the visitors would come in defensively refocused.
Despite registering just one shot and none on goal, the Unions best chance came in the 31st minute, when a Michael Farfan free kick gained the box and was directed off the head of Jack McInerney. The confident header sailed just over the crossbar to keep the contest scoreless at half.
Freddy Adu and Lionard Pajoy were also active but kept off the board.
Unable to break KC in the second half, the Union began to fall back on their heels. With the offense unable to earn the possession it had in the first half, KC began to press and the momentum turned, making it a matter of time before the scoreless tie was broken.
In the 65th minute, on a long free kick in Union territory, Zusi launched a pass into the box that produced a lofty header from Peterson that slipped through Zac MacMath and in the upper right of the Union goal, making it 1-0.
Sporting KC kept the attacking going in the 67th minute, when C.J. Sapong was found alone on the Union goal. Trying to curl a shot within the left post, Sapong plunked his dribbler off the post to keep the Union alive.
And the Union didnt go away. Playing the Antoine Hoppenot card in the 64th minute in a move for Pajoy, coach John Hackworth was begging for the rookies offensive heroics. That plan almost came to fruition in the 69th minute, when Adu played a lead pass into the box. There, Hoppenot slid through defenders and fired a shot that deflected off Jimmy Nielsen and stayed out.
With the Union applying everything they could muster, including MacMath at midfield, Zusi added the equivalent of an empty-net goal in stoppage time to give KC the 2-0 lead and win.
E-mail Ryan Bright at email@example.com