Open Cup Recap: Johnny Russell brace sends Sporting to quarterfinals in 2-1 comeback win over Houston
Wednesday’s result means Sporting has prevailed in 11 consecutive Open Cup home matches since 2015 and boasts a 5-1-2 home record in all competitions this season. Recording their second straight comeback win in the tournament, Manager Peter Vermes’ men have booked an Open Cup quarterfinal date with USL League One outfit Union Omaha at 7:30 p. Down 1-0 at halftime in the Round of 16 clash, Sporting rallied emphatically as Russell bagged a sensational equalizer in the 52nd minute and a decisive penalty kick in the 73rd.
Captain Johnny Russell lifted Sporting Kansas City into the 2022 Lamar Hunt U. Suiting up for the sixth time in 19 days, Sporting fielded a lineup that featured three changes from Sunday’s regular season road draw against the San Jose Earthquakes. Fresh off an impressive 3-0 triumph at the LA Galaxy on Sunday, Houston entered the night with two away wins this season—double their paltry total from 2020 and 2021 combined—and nearly silenced the Children’s Mercy Park faithful inside three minutes if not for goalkeeping heroics from Pulskamp.
Sporting gradually gained a foothold, however, and were awarded a dangerous set piece on 18 minutes after Felipe Hernandez intercepted a pass at midfield and played to Remi Walter, who was clattered from behind by Darwin Ceren. Close to the half-hour mark, the Dynamo responded with another well-crafted move of their own. Houston’s incisiveness was on display once more in the 41st minute as Baird vaulted the visitors ahead 1-0.
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