May 27, 2015
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Saint Louis FC advanced to the 4th Round of the U.S. Open Cup by defeating NASL side Minnesota United FC 3-1 in penalty kicks Wednesday night at World Wide Technology Soccer Park.
With the win, Saint Louis FC moves on to face cross-state foe Sporting Kansas City of the MLS in the Open Cup 4th Round. The match will be played on Tuesday, June 16th at Sporting Park in Kansas City. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
"I think tonight was our best performance of the season in terms of keeping the other team away from the goal and disrupting their rhythm," Head Coach Dale Schilly said after the match.
After a scoreless first half, J.C. Banks put Minnesota United FC on the board in the 53rd minute. Forward Geison Moura struck the far post with a shot and the rebound fell directly to Banks, who scored with a first-touch finish to give the visitors the 1-0 lead.
STL FC pushed for an equalizer, and were rewarded in the 80th minute. Midfielder Charles Renken blew past a Minnesota defender before being pulled down, earning a penalty kick for Saint Louis. Forward Bryan Gaul calmly slotted home the spot kick to level the score at 1-1.
The game remained tied through the end of regulation and all 30 minutes of extra time, sending the match to a penalty kick shootout.
In the shootout, goalkeeper Mark Pais made one save while Brandon Barklage, Patrick Doody, and Oskar Gasecki all scored from the spot. Christian Ramirez put the final penalty off the post, setting off wild celebrations in the stands and on the field.
"I just calmed myself and tried to remove all the distractions," Pais said of his shootout save. "I waited until the very last second, and when I saw him open up his hips, it was in my range and I could push it past the post."
Saint Louis FC led Minnesota in shots 19-10 and held a 10-2 advantage in corner kicks.
STL FC will return to USL regular season action Saturday when it travels to face rivals Louisville City FC at Slugger Field. Kickoff is set for 7:00 PM.