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Oct 252013

Huddle for Web Sporting KC advances to quarterfinals of CONCACAF Champions League
(October 23, 2013) — Sporting Kansas City advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League following their 0-0 draw against CD Olimpia on Wednesday night at Sporting Park. Sporting KC will await the results from Thursday night’s CCL matches to see which team they play in the next round of the tournament.

Sporting KC finished first in their group with a 2-0-2 record (8 points). The eight group winners advance to the quarterfinals, which will be played in March 2014.

Sporting KC can finish no higher than sixth place in the overall standings. The top four teams have home-field advantage which means Sporting KC would host their opponent in the first leg of the quarterfinals at Sporting Park and head on the road for the second leg.

Wednesday night, Sporting KC controlled 68% of the possession but were unable to beat Olimpia goalkeeper Noel Valladares. The Honduran national team goalkeeper recorded five saves on the night, including two on Jacob Peterson in the first half.

In the second minute, Peterson cut to the middle and laced a left-footed shot on target. Valladares reacted well and tipped it over the crossbar for a corner kick. In the 29th minute, Seth Sinovic curled in a ball from the left flank. Peterson darted to the penalty spot and headed the ball cleanly to the near post, but Valladares knocked the attempt away with his fingertips.

Sporting KC goalkeeper Eric Kronberg made one save on the night for his third shutout of the tournament. The veteran goalkeeper finished the group stage with only one goal allowed in four games played and has allowed only two goals in six games played this year in all competitions.

Wednesday’s match was a physical affair, as the two squads combined for 35 fouls. Sporting KC center back Aurelien Collin picked up a yellow card in the first half and will be suspended for the first match of the quarterfinals due to yellow card accumulation.

Sporting KC will return to League action on Saturday with their regular season finale against the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. Sporting KC is currently one point back of the New York Red Bulls and Real Salt Lake in the MLS Supporters’ Shield race. Saturday’s match will kick off at 2 p.m. CT on the NBC Sports Network.