sport

Sporting seal MLS crown

Sporting Kansas City won the MLS Cup and the 18th championship title after clinching a dramatic penalty shootout win against Real Salt Lake.

Goals from Alvaro Saborio and Aurelien Collin had forced a 1-1 draw at Sporting Park and, with extra-time failing to decide a winner, spot-kicks were needed.

The largely Kansas-supporting crowd were kept guessing right to the end but it would ultimately finish 7-6 in favour of Sporting when Lovel Palmer stuck the 20th penalty against the bar.

In freezing temperatures in Kansas City, Robbie Findley spurned the best chance of the first half from close range in the 29th minute.

After the break CJ Sapong failed to wrap his boot around a floated ball, and Sporting were soon punished.

Saborio found a yard of space to take a good first touch and shoot low beyond Jimmy Nielsen.

There were 15 minutes remaining when Collin rose majestically to head a Graham Zusi low into the RSL goal, inspiring wild celebrations in the partisan crowd.

Sporting might then have clinched the cup through Claudio Bieler, who instead shot over from 10 yards.

As extra-time began, Zusi watched Rimando make a stunning reaction save on his fierce drive.

Salt Lake soon thought they had taken the lead against the run of play. A cross to the far post met Saborio, who headed home, but the offside flag was raised.

The bitty football on display in the second period meant only one thing - a penalty shootout.

Saborio and Ned Grabavoy both missed from the spot to put Sporting in the driving seat and Rimando saved from Matt Besler while Kyle Beckerman scored.

There was further drama to come with Benny Feilhaber and Joao Plata exchanging successful kicks.

When Zusi wasted a chance to win the cup for Sporting, Javier Morales' stuttering kick sent the shootout into sudden death.

Collin's penalty proved to be the overdue winner, though, with Salt Lake's dream finally ending when Palmer rattled the bar.