Sporting Kansas City win MLS Cup on penalties

After 120 minutes plus penalty kicks, it was Sporting Kansas City who finally emerged as 2013 MLS Cup Champions, defeating Real Salt Lake 7-6 in the shootout, following a 1-1 stalemate.

Spurred on by the support of the home crowd, SKC recovered from the early blow of losing influential Spanish midfielder Oriol Rosell to injury to claim their first league title since 2000.

In a game played in bone-chilling conditions, MVP Aurélien Collin scored the crucial equaliser for Sporting in the second half, before later driving home the deciding penalty kick in the shootout.

RSL forward Alvaro Saborío had opened the scoring six minutes after break, following a cagey first-half, before Collin duly answered back for SKC with a header from a corner 14 minutes from the end.

With both side spurring plenty of chances, the game stayed that way to the end of regulation and extra-time, before eventually coming down to the longest penalty shoot-out in championship history.

SKC had a chance to seal the shoot-out on their fifth attempt, after an early miss by Saborío and a Jimmy Nielsen save on midfielder Ned Grabavoy, but Graham Zusi rocketed his effort over the bar.

RSL then could have secured the win in sudden-death with their eighth attempt, but the 36-year-old Nielsen snuffed out the shot from youngster Sebastian Velasquez to keep Sporting’s chances alive.

Frenchman Collin followed with a thunderous attempt on SKC’s tenth shot, before Salt Lake substitute Lovel Palmer blasted his ensuing attempt off the crossbar to hand the home side the win.


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