Ghana attacker Latif Blessing scored as his Sporting KC side beat New York Red Bulls 2-1 to lift the US Open Cup Wednesday night.
The former Liberty Professionals player kept his promise of delivering a silverware for KC in his first season as his goal and that from substitute Daniel Salloi delivered a fourth trophy for the side.
Playing in front of a huge home crowd of 21,523, Sporting KC were in control from the start.
And in the 25th minute, the roof flew off Children’s Mercy Park when Latif Blessing – the shortest and slightest player on the pitch – rose highest to meet Graham Zusi’s inch-perfect cross from the right to make it 1-0 for the home team. Ryan Meara got a glove to the shot, but the effort only had eyes for the net.
Having turned the contest on its ear with a goal and no shortage of lively play, it was a sad sight to see Blessing limp off two minutes from the half-time with an injury. The 20-year-old suffered a thigh contusion.
Substitute Daniel Salloi, who came on for the injured Blessing, doubled the advantage for Kansas City in the 66th minute.
New York Red Bulls scored a late consolation goal in injury time through Wright-Phillips, keeping the results at 2-1 for Sporting Kansas City.
Latif Blessing’s side earn $250,000 dollars in prize money for the US Open Cup win and a place in the CONCACAF Champions League, the competition which sends CONCACAF’s representative to the annual FIFA Club World Cup.