Tim Melia shuts out San Jose in shootout for Sporting KC

Modesto Morganelli
Novembre 25, 2020

Goalkeeper Tim Melia saved all three penalty kicks in a decisive shootout on Sunday as top-seeded Sporting Kansas City defeated the No. 8 seed San Jose Earthquakes 3-0 on penalties following an unforgettable 3-3 draw in the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs Sunday at Children's Mercy Park.

Melia's performance in the shootout, where he stopped penalties from San Jose's Oswaldo Alanis, Jackson Yuiell and Cristian Espinoza, was unprecedented. Four of those came with Sporting and two with lower-division Rochester and Charleston against MLS competition in the US Open Cup. "Part of the playoffs always is kind of getting through that first game", said Sporting manager Peter Vermes. Melia said penalty shootouts are "different than penalties in a game". "You're trying to pick up little queues, you're trying to see what directions people are looking, tendencies of the shooter, their run-up, their approach". You try to be the most complete goalkeeper you are and you try to work on all different facets of your game. Kansas City, who missed the post-season past year as they finished 11th in the West, booked a Western Conference semi-final showdown with Minnesota United, who defeated the Colorado Rapids 3-0.

Gianluca Busio scored in the first minute of stoppage time to give Sporting Kansas City a 3-2 lead, but Chris Wondolowski scored about six minutes later, heading home a high cross to the far post by Cristian Espinoza to force extra time.

Although Wondolowski has a league-record 166 regular-season goals, it was just his second ever in the post-season. Shelton deflected the ball to Busio, who was wide open in front of the net for the late lead.

Kansas City's Roger Espinoza opened the scoring in the fourth minute.

Sanchez also scored for Kansas City on a set-piece in the 47th minute, making it 2-2. Carlos Fierro collected a pass from Espinoza in the middle of the box and fired it toward the goal.

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Kevin Molino scored two goals and Robin Lod added another as Minnesota claimed its first playoff victory in franchise history.

Trinidad and Tobago worldwide Molino opened the scoring in the 22nd minute with a left-footed shot past Rapids keeper William Yarbrough.

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