Sacramento Republic FC might have the coldest soccer player in the world on its team. Ice runs through this man’s veins and he fears nothing. If you don’t believe me then one look at this Maalique Foster penalty kick vs. Sporting KC in the U.S. Open Cup semifinal might change your mind.
Maalique Foster Penalty Kick vs. Sporting KC
Let’s set the stage really quick.
Sacramento Republic was on the verge of making history as the first non-Major League Soccer team to make it to the U.S. Open Cup final since 2008. After a grueling and goalless 120 minutes against Sporting KC, the game went to penalties.
Sacramento had defeated two MLS teams, LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes, earlier in the tournament and now a penalty shootout stood between it and another cup-set victory.
Both teams converted their first two penalties. Drama struck on Sporting KC’s third penalty when William Agada had his saved. The save wouldn’t stand however as Sacramento goalkeeper Danny Vitiello came off his line to make the stop.
Agada retook the penalty, scored and then had the audacity to provoke the Sacramento crowd with a backflip to celebrate converting a kick that he failed to do the first time.
Sorry, there ain’t no way Agada just missed a penalty in a shootout, got lucky with the retake and then backflipped on a USL team— Shaun Goodwin (@ShaunGoodwinID) July 28, 2022
Foster must’ve saw Agada’s stunt and thought that he could easily one-up that. Foster wasn’t even introduced into the game until the 69th minute. In the 50 minutes he did play the Jamaican international looked electric with plenty of fancy footwork and excellent hold-up play, but his shining moment came in the shootout.
In the fourth round Foster stepped up to take his kick. KC converted its fourth meaning Foster needed to score to tie things at 4-4. While over 11,000 inside Heart Health Park held their collective breath, Foster pulled off the most ridiculous and gutsy Panenka.
Then came the celebration.
Panenka "night night"Maalique Foster nailed this penalty for @SacRepublicFC
— B/R Football (@brfootball) July 28, 2022
The 25-year-old will go down as a U.S. Open Cup legend after that kick. Foster’s effort paved the way for former USMNT midfielder Graham Zusi to see his following attempt saved and Sacramento’s Rodrigo López to score the game-winner.
Sacramento will play Orlando City in the final on Wednesday, Sept. 7, at Exploria Stadium in Orlando. If Sacramento pulls off another upset, it will be the first non-MLS club to win the U.S. Open Cup since the Rochester Rhinos in 1999.