• Thursday Oct 24, 2013

    Sporting KC earns spot in CCL quarterfinals

    Graham Zusi (left) and Oriol Rosell celebrate Sporting Kansas City's advancement to the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals after a 0-0 draw with Olimpia on October 23, 2013, at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas, USA. (Photo: Jamila St. Ann)

     

    KANSAS CITY, Kansas -- Sporting Kansas City advanced to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League after a 0-0 draw with Olimpia on Wednesday at Sporting Park.

    The result was enough to give Sporting (2-2-0, 8 points) a single-point advantage in the final Group 2 table over the visitors, who saw goalkeeper Noel Valladares turn in a stellar performance.

    The 36-year-old Honduras international was in top form, denying Kansas City three times with spectacular first-half saves.  He thwarted Jacob Peterson twice, making a two-handed save two minutes into the match and parrying away a header in the 29th minute.
     
    Valladares also stopped a one-bounce shot by United States international Graham Zusi just before half-time.
     
    Teal Bunbury came close by striking a 16th minute attempt wide right and he was ruled offside after depositing a Seth Sinovic pass into the back of the net in the 36th minute.
     
    Sinovic also set up Chance Myers, whose close-range effort was deflected out of bounds for a corner kick in the 27th minute.
     
    Kansas City had another goal waved off nine minutes after the break.

    The Hondurans never really threatened in the first half, but with the clock running down at the end of the game, late substitute Ramiro Bruschi -- who has five career CCL goals -- fired wide left from close range.

    Dom Dwyer came close to giving Kansas City some breathing room, but he could not convert a counterattack in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
     
    Sporting becomes the sixth different team from the United States to progress to the CCL quarterfina

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