By Don Ruiz The News Tribune
TUKWILA — The Seattle Sounders had a hard time reaching the back of the net through 120 minutes of regulation, but they had no trouble when the match went to penalty kicks.
All four Sounders converted, putting away the San Jose Earthquakes in their fifth-round match of U.S. Open Cup.
The result goes into the books as a 1-1 draw. But the Sounders advanced by hitting four penalty kicks to San Jose’s one. After Seattle goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann stopped JJ Koval’s shot in the third frame, Lamar Neagle clinched it by nailing the next one.
“It was pretty awesome,” Hahnemann said. “You try not to even think about the score, so when Lamar scored I was like, ‘Is that it? Oh.’ Then Lamar went running back and everyone was sprinting forward. You’re in your own little world, and then you, ‘Oh yeah, that’s it. We’re through.’”
The result eliminated the Earthquakes, while sending the Sounders through to the quarterfinals where they will met the Portland Timbers at 7:30 p.m. July 9 at Starfire. Portland advanced with a 3-1 win at Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday.
“That will be fun,” coach Sigi Schmid said.
San Jose opened the scoring in the 24th minute, as Steven Lenhart sizzled a volley past Hahnemann. In the postgame celebration, Hahnemann said he remembered that one the rest of the night.
“I felt I was at fault for the first goal that we let in,” he said. “I just got wrong-footed and Lenhart put on a good shot. I couldn’t even get after it. It was past me. And the worst thing you can do is try to make up for it, so I didn’t go chasing after any crosses or doing any stupid like at 22 years old I would have done.”
The Sounders answered two minutes later, as Neagle held possession with his back to the goal before distributing to Kenny Cooper, who finished inside the far post and past David Bingham.
Bingham had prevented a solid Seattle scoring chance in the 13th minute, getting his right hand to a Neagle header. The Quakes also dodged a bullet in the 43rd minute, as Brad Evans sent a cross in front of the goal and San Jose defender Clarence Goodson’s clearance banged off the San Jose far post before bouncing away safely and sending the teams into halftime even at 1-1.
The near misses continued through the second half. Substitute Chad Barrett had some particularly close opportunities including one off a post, one just over the bar and one saved by Bingham.
However, nothing more went in during regulation, and the game moved on to added time.
Bingham came up big again in those added 30 minutes, knocking away a Neagle shot in a one-on-one situation in front of the goal.
Later, Hahnemann went low to save a well-struck Khari Stephenson free kick from just outside the box.
However for all the chances, nothing else found its way into the net and the game went on to penalty kicks where Gonzalo Pineda, Marco Pappa, Evans and Neagle converted in order.
“Early in the game I thought (San Jose) had a little bit of it, but I thought after that we turned it and we had a little more of the game,” Schmid said. “For sure when Barrett came on I thought he was unlucky not to get the game winner. … I think we hit the post three or four times tonight. I thought off the run of play we deserved to win it, but it wasn’t falling for us. We were a little bit snakebit, but then the guys came through on the penalties.”
Seattle returns to Major League Soccer play at 4 p.m. Saturday at D.C. United.