Seattle Sounders defeat San Diego Loyal 5-4 in U.S. Open Cup thriller

Credit: SD Loyal

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Credit: SD Loyal

The San Diego Loyal and Seattle Sounders met for the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. This match could not have been more of a classic. It came down to the finals seconds as the Loyal had a chance to accomplish a feat they have never done.

Seattle controlled the match for most of the 90 minutes, but the Loyal did not give up. They played until the final whistle and completed one of the best comebacks you will ever see. The Sounders were winning 3-1 until the Loyal scored two late goals to force extra time.

Seattle took control early. The Sounders scored two early goals that really gave them the advantage with a lot of time left on the clock. Fredy Montero nailed in a goal in the 15th minute, and then Ethan Dobbelaere scored again in the 26th minute.

Dobbelaere wasn’t the only hometown product (Seattle) to score in this match. Right after halftime, National City native Joe Corona nailed in a penalty shot to put the Loyal back within in one goal. However, the quick chance to come back didn’t last long at all. Just two minutes later, Paul Rothrock put another one in the back of the net in the 56th minute. That goal was more so on the lack on positioning from Loyal keeper Koke Vegas.

Credit: SD Loyal

As mentioned above, the Loyal did not give up. They kept battling and forcing the Sounders to turn the ball over. San Diego took advantage of the Seattle mishaps and forced a free kick in the 73rd minute.

Who else but Joe Corona? The San Diego product put the Loyal back into the match with a beautiful attempt from the left side.

Corona did everything he could to withhold the Sounders from keeping control.

In the final moments of the match, as the energy was starting to evaporate, Kyle Adams shocked the football world by drilling a laser to even the score in stoppage time.

That goal from Adams was one of the best goals I have ever seen. The Sounders were stunned, and that wouldn’t be the last time they would be in this match.

Extra time started, and Seattle converted on another great goal, this time from Reed Baker-Whiting. The Sounders regained the lead 4-3, and it looked like they would hold off for the win.

That would not happen. The second extra-time period started, and the Loyal had one last substitution left. Head coach Nate Miller sent in Jackson “Simba” Kasanzu to replace Xavi Gnaulati in the 115th minute. Simba immediately sent in a header off the Corona free kick to even the score once again.

All the hope had returned, and the Loyal were back in business. However, the next few minutes would devastate not only the players but the fan base of the Loyal.

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The head official called a penalty on Simba in the 122nd minute to hand the game back to the Sounders. Not only should the match been called after the 1-minute stoppage time, but the official missed a clear handball before the whistle. Simba played his ground as well as one could, and it is a shame that the official ended an incredible match in that manner.

San Diego played their heart out, especially the ones on the field to end the 125-minute match. Everyone in uniform played besides backup keeper Duran Ferree. They should be proud of their efforts out there Wednesday night as they put on a show against one of the toughest teams in Major League Soccer.

The next match is a quick one as they have to immediately move past this result and play again this Saturday, April 29. They host El Paso Locomotive as they look to continue their home streak. The Loyal are second in the Western Conference with 14 points and a (4-1-2) record.

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