Saturday, July 30, 2011

 Shootout vs San Jose at GA Cup

Photos taken by Rick Yeatts

Sporting Kansas City and the San Jose Earthquakes lit up the scoreboard on Friday night at the 2011 U17 Generation adidas Cup in Frisco, Texas as the two MLS academy teams combined for the highest scoring game of the tournament thus far in a 4-4 draw that ended with Sporting Kansas City prevailing 5-4 on six rounds in the penalty shootout.

After falling behind 2-0 in the game's opening minutes, Sporting Kansas City fought back to even the score at 2-2 as Eric DeJulio twice capitalized on corner kicks for the Juniors on each side of halftime. But San Jose responded instantly with the first of two second-half strikes as they re-gained their two-goal advantage and looked to have the victory sealed with the clock winding down.

But Sporting Kansas City came back in dramatic fashion as Nate Opperman scored twice in the final six minutes of the match to force the penalty kick shootout. The first goal came on an assist from Seo-In Kim, who cut inside and laid the ball back for Opperman to bury his shot from near the penalty mark. Then the equalizer was a long-range header from Opperman at the top of the penalty area that looped over the Earthquakes keeper off a cross from the right side.

Goalkeeper Evan Wright was again in between the posts for Sporting Kansas City's second penalty shootout of the tournament. After making three stops against the Seattle Sounders earlier in the week, Wright was again up to the test as he stopped two of San Jose's attempts. DeJulio clinched the victory with his converted penalty in the sixth round, after previous makes by Schrick, Lennon, Stanley and Opperman.

Sporting Kansas City will play their fifth and final match of the tournament against the Chicago Fire at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday. Follow @SKCJuniors on Twitter for updates or visit the tournament homepage on

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