Johnny Russell and Gadi Kinda celebration - Sporting KC vs. Minnesota United FC - Sept. 13, 2020

Playoff Primer: Relive Sporting's six home wins over Minnesota United FC

Regional rivals Sporting Kansas City and Minnesota United FC are on a collision course in the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs. The in-form clubs are slated to square off in the Western Conference Semifinals on Dec. 3 at Children's Mercy Park with national coverage on FOX beginning at 7 p.m. CT.

Sporting owns a 7-4-2 record against Minnesota in all competitions, including two wins and a loss in 2020 and a perfect 6-0-0 mark at home. The Loons have been outscored 15-1 on their six previous visits to Children's Mercy Park since joining MLS in 2017.

With that in mind, we revisit each of Sporting's six home victories over the Loons in the space below.


Sporting 3-0 Minnesota (June 3, 2017)

Two years before Ike Opara joined the Loons, he was in the midst of an MLS Defender of the Year campaign in Sporting blue. The center back opened the scoring on the stroke of halftime with a blistering long-range strike, setting the stage for a dominant second period that produced further goals from Jimmy Medranda and Saad Abdul-Salaam. Sporting outshot Minnesota 27-7 and limited the Loons to a single attempt on target.

Sporting 4-0 Minnesota | U.S. Open Cup (June 14, 2017)

Eleven days after thrashing the Loons in the regular season, Sporting booted Minnesota from the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and took their first step toward hoisting the 2017 tournament title. Opara struck yet again, this time heading home off a corner kick, before Gerso Fernandes, Dom Dwyer and Daniel Salloi all got in on the scoring act. Salloi's goal was his very first for Sporting, igniting a strong run of form that also saw him net the match-winner in the 2017 Open Cup Final against the New York Red Bulls.

Sporting 4-1 Minnesota (June 3, 2018)

A year later, Salloi put Minnesota to the sword once more. He gave the hosts an early lead, and although Minnesota replied instantly with an absolute banger from Tyrone Mears, the Loons never really had a chance. Wan Kuzain opened his MLS scoring account in the 35th minute, Cristian Lobato made it 3-1 a few minutes later, and Diego Rubio added icing to the cake with a late tally of his own.

Sporting 2-0 Minnesota (Aug. 25, 2018)

Sporting's club-record fourth consecutive shutout win in the regular season was highlighted by Rubio and Yohan Croizet goals in the second half. Minnesota outshot Sporting 16-12, but goalkeeper Tim Melia had eight saves to keep the Loons off the scoresheet.

Sporting 1-0 Minnesota (Aug. 22, 2019)

In desperate need of three points to keep their dwindling playoff hopes alive, Sporting delivered in a nationally televised clash on ESPN. Minnesota spent extended periods of time on the back foot and eventually relented in the 88th minute when Erik Hurtado received a slick pass from Johnny Russell and finished ruthlessly past goalkeeper Vito Mannone to give the hosts a 1-0 victory.

Sporting 1-0 Minnesota (Sept. 13, 2020)

In a battle for first place in the Western Conference, Sporting and Minnesota remained deadlocked at 0-0 until the dying embers of the contest. With 80 minutes on the clock, Russell gave chase to Graham Zusi's brilliant long ball over the top and cooly finished past Loons goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair to give the hosts a deserved 1-0 triumph.

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