SAN FRANCISCO – When it comes to the US Open Cup, Cordell Cato owns Kezar Stadium.
Two years ago, Cato scored the only goal in the Seattle Sounders’ 1-0 quarterfinal victory against the San Jose Earthquakes at the former home of the San Francisco 49ers.
On Wednesday, Cato reprised his game-winning Kezar ways on the Quakes’ behalf, knocking home the game-winning goal in San Jose’s 2-1 victory against USL PRO side Sacramento Republic FC in fourth-round USOC play. Cato cut a 73rd-minute shot to the far post after Sacramento goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek was caught too far off his line chasing after a deflected Quakes pass.
San Jose midfielder Khari Stephenson converted a penalty kick in first-half stoppage time after Republic forward Justin Braun had put third-tier Sacramento up 1-0 with a glancing header in the 42nd minute.
Cato’s strike spared the Quakes the possibility of going to overtime against their USL PRO affiliate, as did the ejection of Republic defender Chad Bartlome in the 78th minute after he was shown a second yellow card.
San Jose will face the winner of next week’s match, between the Sounders and USASA amateur club PSA Elite, on June 24.