Sacramento Republic FC's Maalique Foster reacts after converting a Panenka during the side's penalty shootout victory against Sporting Kansas City in the Semifinals of the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. | Photo courtesy Sacramento Republic FC
Danny Vitiello provided the crucial save.
Rodrigo Lopez the decisive finish.
But Maalique Foster? He produced the moment that is going to be part of highlight reels for decades.
The Jamaican’s graceful Panenka – followed by an equally iconic backflip and Steph Curry-esque “Go to Sleep” celebration – in the fourth round of a penalty shootout that saw Republic FC defeat Major League Soccer’s Sporting Kansas City 5-4 after a scoreless draw through regulation and extra time to advance to the Final of the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on September 7 against Orlando City SC set social media alight on Wednesday night, showing off the swagger that has defined Sacramento’s historic run in this year’s tournament.
Check out some of our favorite reactions.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT— Kendall Baker (@kendallbaker) July 28, 2022
In the biggest moment in club history, Maalique Foster pulls off the panenka, then backflips and puts 'em to sleep.@SacRepublicFC becomes the first lower-tier team to make the U.S. Open Cup Final since 2008.
Sac scoring a panenka penalty then doing a flip celebration is the coolest thing I have ever seen— Lucas Muller (@lucaswmuller) July 28, 2022
Just before this, Sacramento’s GK had made a great save but the ref allowed a retake because the shooter did an annoying run-up and caught him off his line too soon. Anyway, the guy makes the 2nd chance an does backflips…— Liam (@theliammalone) July 28, 2022
Which clearly set this man OFF #USOpenCup @opencup https://t.co/JmPcWVMNmt
Thrilled for @SacRepublicFC, and mostly for all of us that get to watch this - the @opencup is better with a @USLChampionship team in the final! Maalique Foster's panenka+backflip was ridiculous, and so appropriate for @Lopez_Roro to make the final pen. The Final will be awesome!— Jake Zivin (@JakeZivin) July 28, 2022
Maalique Foster has some serious cojones.— Kenny Morales (@KennyMoralesTV) July 28, 2022
Dude lines up for a crucial penalty kick and he pulls off a panenka to help lead @SacRepublicFC to the @opencup final and then hits ‘em with the @StephenCurry30 night-night celly!
A panenka that almost goes above the crossbar before floating back down? Followed by a standing backflip?— Jason Anderson (@JasonDCsoccer) July 28, 2022
If Sacramento doesn't advance we should sue someone.
give sac republic the trophy now for that panenka in the shootout, my god— Dan Stelly (@danstelly) July 28, 2022