Former Liberty Professionals forward, Latif Blessing, scored for Sporting Kansas City as they beat New York Red Bulls 2-1 to win the 2017 US Open Cup on Wednesday at the Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas.
The player rose to meet a cross from Graham Zusi in the 25th minute and headed it past Ryan Meara to give Kansas City the lead.
— U.S. Open Cup (@opencup) September 21, 2017
The strike was Blessing’s third of the competition and it set them on their way to the cup. A second was added by Daniel Salloi in the 66th minute to give Kansas City an advantage.
Bradley Wright-Phillips got on the score sheet in the 91st minute but it was not enough to stop Latif Blessing and his team mates getting their hands on Sporting Kansas City’s fourth major in the last six seasons.
Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes spoke highly of Blessing’s contributions on the night and the overall efforts of the team in the final.
“To get the goal, great goal, beautiful cross, excellent run by Latif [Blessing]. I feel bad for him and Gerso coming off because of injuries, even [Diego] Rubio. But, look, all those guys punched the clock tonight.”
Sporting KC defender Matt Besler also shared his thoughts on Latif Blessing’s display in the final and what the other players brought to the table.
“Latif [Blessing], Gerso, Diego [Rubio] and Daniel [Salloi], all the guys up top were threats all game long in behind and out wide. They played a big role for us. Before the game, we talked about being tough to play against, being good defensively and when the times present themselves someone stepping up and making a play. It just so happened those were young guys for us. Credit to them and they deserve a lot of accolades that they are going to get for this game.”
New York Red Bulls manager Jesse Marsch said that his team had planned to stop the supply from getting into areas where Sporting Kansas City could be dangerous but they failed to execute the plan in the match.
“We put Kemar Lawrence out there to make sure that [Graham] Zusi wouldn’t have freedom to be moving into the attack and putting balls into the box. We were late to rotate out there and somehow it winds up just going over Aaron Long’s head and right to Blessing. So it was a good finish, but it shouldn’t have gotten to that. We should have done better.”
After the match, Blessing entertained the fans to some dance moves as part of the celebrations for winning the match.
— ⚽️Taylor Vonfeldt⚽️ (@therealskicast) September 21, 2017
Sporting Kansas City will hold a party in Kansas on Friday before turning their attentions to the LA Galaxy in the MLS.
By: Nathan Quao/citifmonline.com/Ghana