Saint Louis FC Advance On Penalties In USOC

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(St. Louis, MO) – Saint Louis FC advanced in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, again in dramatic fashion. After 120 minutes led to a 1-1 draw with Minnesota United FC, Saint Louis FC bested the NASL side 3-1 in penalties to advance to the 4th round where they will travel to face Sporting Kansas City at Sporting Park on June 16.

The teams played to a scoreless halftime with fairly even play. Both teams created opportunities with Minnesota playing up the middle and Saint Louis providing service from the flanks. Richard Dixon was subbed off due to an injury in the first half.

In the 53rd minute, Geison Moura delivered a shot from just inside the box that hit the woodwork. J.C. Banks found the rebound and buried it in the back of the net to give the visitors the lead.

In the 72nd minute, Brandon Barklage made his fist appearance since getting injured last month. He was subbed on Mike Ambersley. His return provided a much needed boost to the roster depth, which has been stretched thin.

Pushing for the equalizer. Saint Louis FC kept creating opportunities and using wide play. In the 80th minute, Charles Renken made a run into the box and was taken down with a sliding tackle. The referee whistled for a penalty and Bryan Gaul stepped up and converted. This was Gaul’s second goal in as many U.S. Open Cup matches and his second penalty kick goal of the season.

Regulation ended in a 1-1 draw. The two teams would play 30 minutes of uneventful extra time and head to penalties. Gaul was given a straight red card in the 112th minute after a scuffle with Ibson. Ibson was given a caution on the play. The home side held the draw down to ten men.

Kicking in south end of the stadium next to the Louligans, Minnesota began with Daniel Mendes. The forward shot to his right, but Mark Pais dove and was able to redirect it away from goal. Barklage stepped up and buried the ball in the lower right hand corner, the same corner Gaul scored from.

In the second frame, Ibson sent the ball well over the cross bar and Patrick Doody converted to give Saint Louis FC a 2-0 penalty lead after two frames. In the third frame USMNT player Miguel Ibarra and Oskar Gasecki both scored.

At the top of the fourth frame, Christian Ramirez wrong-footed Pais but hit the ball off the woodwork. Saint Louis FC took the penalty shootout 3-1 and the fans stormed the field to celebrate with the team.

Saint Louis FC return to USL action this Saturday on the road against Louisville City FC in another Kings Cup match. They will travel to Kansas City on June 16 to play Sporting KC in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup.

Main Photo Courtesy of Mark Guthrel, team photographer of Saint Louis FC.

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