—The San Jose Earthquakes advanced to the Round of 16 on Wednesday evening as they beat the Seattle Sounders in the Round of 32 of the US Open Cup. 5/11/22. Courtesy of the San Jose Earthquakes.
by Marko Ukalovic
TUKWILA, Wash. — Matt Bresano was made for the shootout.
The San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper not only outlasted his counterpart in a 11-round shootout, but he also scored the game winning goal in the same shootout to help his team to a 2-2 (10-9) victory over the Seattle Sounders in the Round of 32 of the US Open Cup on Wednesday evening at Starfire Sports Complex.
San Jose advanced to the Round of 16 thanks to the heroics of Bersano. Quakes head coach Alex Covelo went with youth over experience in the non-MLS match against the defending CONCACAF Champions League champs.
Bersano kept Seattle off of the board just before the end of the first half when he made two outstanding saves in a nine second span off of a corner kick opportunity.
The Earthquakes drew first blood early in the first half. Benji Kinkanovic was tackled inside the box that drew a penalty in the ninth minute. A minute later Jack Skahan cashed in on the penalty kick when he beat Sounder goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland with a shot into the lower left corner of the net.
San Jose doubled its lead in the 50th minute thanks to a turnover by Seattle. A failed clearing attempt led to Cade Cowell dribbling in from the right wing and beating Cleveland with a low shot to the right side for his first goal of the tournament.
Seattle responded four minutes later to cut the lead in half in the 54th minute off of a set piece. Jimmy Medranda bent in a ball from 30 yards out that beat Bersano into the upper right corner of the net.
The Sounders evened the score in the 77th minute when Freddy Montero headed the ball into the back of the net off a cross by Kelyn Rowe.
A scoreless 30 minutes of extra time set up Bersano’s heroics in the shootout.
With the shootout tied at nine a piece, the goalkeepers were the only ones left to decide the outcome. Bersano stopped Cleveland’s attempt with a diving save to his right. Then Bersano finished off the epic match when he beat Cleveland with a rocket of a shot to the left corner of the net.
UP NEXT: San Jose returns back to MLS action on Saturday 5/14 when they visit the Vancouver Whitecaps at 4:00pm at BC Place.