In the six years since PPL Park opened in Chester, PA, there have been many exciting sporting events held on the pitch. However, in all of that time, there had never been a 120 minutes of scoreless soccer action decided by penalty kicks…until Tuesday night.
The Philadelphia Union hosted the Rochester Rhinos in 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup action on Tuesday night, with a spot in the round of 16 at stake.
While there were some scoring chances for both teams, and some impressive saves by both goalkeepers (especially Philadelphia’s John McCarthy), the score remained knotted at 0-0 after 90 minutes of regulation and again after 30 minutes of overtime.
Union captain Maurice Edu kicked things off for Philadelphia, finding the back of the net on their first penalty kick attempt ever at PPL Park. Rochester’s Jonny Mendoza quickly tied it up at 1-1, beating McCarthy on his attempt.
Vincent Nogueira scored on the Union’s second attempt, keeping the pressure on Rochester. That’s when McCarthy dawned his proverbial Superman cape and took over, stopping the Rhino’s next three attempts (by Vassilios Apostolopoulous, Tony Walls and Christian Volesky) in a row.
C.J. Sapong, who had almost scored a goal early in the game (the Union’s best scoring chance in regulation) was stopped on the Union’s third penalty kick but Cristian Maidana found the back of the net on the fourth kick to secure the win for Philadelphia. Up 3-1, the fifth attempt wasn’t even necessary.
With the 16 teams set for the next round, the brackets will be revealed on Thursday, June 18th at 11AM.
[Photo credit: Riley Loula]
**Thank you for voting Independent Philly as the Winner of “Best Local Blogger” in the Philly Region on the 2014 Hot List!**
You can view an expanded photo gallery below (click images to enlarge):