Recap: Jake Davis nets brace as SKC II falls in 4-3 thriller to Louisville

Midfielder Jake Davis scored two brilliant goals and rookie forward Jamil Roberts added a fantastic third as Sporting Kansas City II (4-17-8, 20 points) suffered a last-gasp 4-3 loss to Central Division leaders Louisville City FC (16-5-7, 55 points) in an instant classic on Saturday night at Lynn Family Stadium.

Davis bagged a sensational long-range goal on the cusp of halftime and secured his brace in the 84th minute, mere seconds before Roberts picked out the top corner with a sublime strike from distance as Sporting KC II went from 2-0 down to 3-2 ahead. The last laugh went to Louisville, however, as prolific striker Cameron Lancaster struck twice—including the last-gasp winner in the 94th minute—to give the hosts all three points.

Head coach Paulo Nagamura made just one change to his starting lineup from Wednesday's 3-1 loss at Memphis 901 FC as Petar Cuic stepped in for Jahon Rad. He was part of a midfield triumvirate alongside Davis and 17-year-old Ozzie Cisneros, while the three-pronged attack consisted of 16-year-old Mataeo Bunbury, opposite winger Enoch Mushagalusa and center forward Wilson Harris. Goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh was protected by a back four of captain Kaveh Rad, Kayden Pierre, Graham Smith and Isaiah LeFlore.

Louisville landed their first punch in the eighth minute. Outside midfielder Brian Ownby chased a long ball over the top and delivered a cutback pass from the right endline that found captain Paolo DelPiccolo, who side-footed a first-time shot inside the near post for his eighth goal of the season. Ownby nearly went from provider to scorer shortly thereafter, planting a close-range header narrowly over the crossbar.

McIntosh was harshly penalized on the half-hour mark, whistled for a foul on Ownby inside the penalty area despite winning the ball cleanly in a 50-50 challenge. Cameron Lancaster buried the ensuing spot kick for his 16th goal of the year, fourth-most in the USL Championship.

Sporting KC II gradually gained a foothold of their own and cut their deficit in half with the final consequential kick of the first period. Mushagalusa won possession on the left flank and played a diagonal ball to Davis, who took a touch 28 yards from goal and curled a world-class strike into the top right corner. The magisterial effort gave Davis his first goal of 2021, punctuating a year that has seen the hard-nosed midfielder break into Sporting Kansas City's first team at the MLS level.

The visitors began the second half brightly but could have fallen behind 3-1 in the 56th minute if not for a stunning save from McIntosh. Pat McMahon's low cross was met by Jimmy McLaughlin on the doorstep, but Sporting KC II's goalkeeper produced a phenomenal reflex stop to keep his team within a goal.

Davis delivered a man of the match performance over the course of 90 minutes and notched his second goal of the evening in the 84th minute, knotting the game at 2-2 on a feed from Roberts. Only a minute later, Roberts etched his own name on the score sheet when Harris won the ball off a Louisville defender and teed up the Englishman, whose 25-yard strike nestled into the top left corner for his second goal of the campaign.

Sporting KC II had stunned the Louisville crowd by turning the match on its head, but head coach Danny Cruz's side showed its mentality by clawing back. With 88 minutes on the clock, outside back Oscar Jimenez recorded his first goal of the year on Abdou Mbacke Thiam's first assist of 2021.

Tied at 3-3, both sides exchanged barbs in search of a late winner, which would ultimately fall Louisville's way deep into second-half stoppage time. A searching free kick into the crowded penalty area was nodded across goal by Corben Bone and hammered into the roof of the net by Lancaster, igniting celebrations across the stadium and condemning Sporting KC II to undeserved heartbreak.

With a two-game road swing in the rearview mirror, Sporting KC II faces a quick turnaround as Atlanta United 2 visits Children's Mercy Park on Wednesday night. The contest will kick off at 7 p.m. CT and stream live on ESPN Plus.

2021 USL Championship | Match 29
Lynn Family Stadium | Louisville, Kentucky
Weather: 78 degrees and partly cloudy

Sporting KC II 3-4 Louisville City FC
Sporting KC II 3-4 Louisville City FC
Sporting Kansas City II (4-17-8, 20 points)
Louisville City FC (16-5-7, 55 points)

Sporting Kansas City II: Kendall McIntosh; Kayden Pierre, Graham Smith, Kaveh Rad (C), Isaiah LeFlore; Petar Cuic (Danny Barbir 87'), Ozzie Cisneros (Christian Duke 62'), Jake Davis; Mataeo Bunbury (Jamil Roberts 62'), Wilson Harris (Ropapa Mensah 90+1'), Enoch Mushagalusa
Subs Not Used: Remi Prieur, Aljaz Dzankic, Jahon Rad

Louisville City FC: Chris Hubbard; Pat McMahon (Joshua Wynder 90+5'), Sean Totsch, Alexis Souahy (Wesley Charpie 46'), Oscar Jimenez; Corben Bone, Paolo DelPiccolo (C) (Niall McCabe 71'), Napo Matsoso, Antoine Hoppenot (Jimmy McLaughlin 46'), Brian Ownby; Cameron Lancaster
Subs Not Used: Parker Siegfried, Abdou Mbacke Thiam, Akil Watts

Scoring Summary:
LOU -- Paolo DelPiccolo 8 (Brian Ownby 9) 8’
LOU -- Cameron Lancaster 16 (penalty kick) 30'
SKC -- Jake Davis 1 (Enoch Mushagalusa 3) 45+1'
SKC -- Jake Davis 2 (Jamil Roberts 1) 84'
SKC -- Jamil Roberts 2 (Wilson Harris 1) 85'
LOU -- Oscar Jimenez 1 (Abdou Mbacke Thiam 1) 88'
LOU -- Cameron Lancaster 17 (Corben Bone 5) 90+4'

Misconduct Summary:
LOU -- Sean Totsch (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 15'
SKC -- Jake Davis (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 24'
LOU -- Jimmy McLaughlin (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 82'
SKC -- Christian Duke (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 90+3'

Match Statistics
Match Statistics
Shots on Goal
Corner Kicks

Referee: Nabil Bensalah
Assistant Referee: Brian Marshall
Assistant Referee: Amilcar Sicaju
Fourth Official: Christopher Slane