Recap: Sporting KC II takes 3-1 loss at Memphis

Sporting Kansas City II (4-16-8, 20 points) delivered a spirited performance in a 3-1 road loss to Memphis 901 FC (10-8-8, 38 points) on Wednesday night at AutoZone Park.

Forward Enoch Mushagalusa fired head coach Paulo Nagamura's side in front after 17 minutes, but Memphis responded with a Kyle Murphy brace and a last-gasp tally from Roland Lamah to seal all three points and climb into the fourth and final playoff spot in the USL Championship's Central Division.

SKC II will conclude their two-game road swing with a visit to first-place Louisville City FC (15-5-7, 52 points in a 6:30 p.m. CT kickoff on Saturday at Lynn Family Stadium. The contest will stream live on ESPN Plus.

The visitors began brightly and could have gone ahead in the 13th minute during a chaotic scramble in Memphis' penalty area. Mushagalusa, Isaiah LeFlore and 16-year-old Mataeo Bunbury—landing his first professional start after impressing from off the bench in last Friday's loss to Birmingham Legion FC—all went close to poking home before Memphis midfielder Raul Gonzalez hammered clear upfield.

Mushagalusa would not be denied a second time as the winger landed Sporting KC II's first punch in the 17th minute. Running onto a delightful long delivery from Jake Davis, Mushagalusa nodded the ball forward and beat a defender before slotting low into the corner for his team-leading eighth goal of the campaign. The scoring play also gave Davis his team-best sixth assist in 2021.

Sporting KC II's lead lasted only three minutes. Kadeem Dacres created space on the right flank and clipped a cross to the far post, where Murphy snapped a header past goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh for his 16th goal of the year.

A free-flowing first half continued to ebb and flow, with Mushagalusa nearly bagging his brace in the 37th minute. Receiving another searching ball over the top, the rangy forward squared up his defender, cut centrally and curled a shot that skimmed the top of the crossbar. SKC II would threaten twice more before halftime, with Ozzie Cisneros' low drive blocked through traffic and Memphis goalkeeper Cody Cropper diving at the near post to cast aside an admirable effort from Jahon Rad.

The first major chance of the second half fell to Memphis in the 59th minute when Murphy's shot took a deflection and looped over the on-running McIntosh, but LeFlore had retreated to make the all-important goal line clearance.

Both sides exchanged opportunities past the hour-mark, with Mushagalusa's tidy finish off a Wilson Harris cross disallowed for offside and Laurent Kissiedou's strike taking a wicked deflection and plunking off the woodwork shortly thereafter.

Memphis went ahead for the first time in the 74th minute. Lamah won his side the spot kick, toppling to the turf on a challenge from McIntosh, and Murphy buried the ensuing attempt for his 17th goal of the year, tied for second-most in the USL Championship.

Seeking a late equalizer, SKC II committed numbers forward in the dying embers and were caught on the counterattack deep into stoppage time as Lamah added an insurance goal on the breakaway.

2021 USL Championship | Match 28
AutoZone Park | Memphis, Tennessee
Attendance: 3,029
Weather: 74 degrees and partly cloudy

Sporting KC II 1-3 Memphis 901 FC
Sporting KC II 1-3 Memphis 901 FC
Sporting Kansas City II (4-16-8, 20 points)
Memphis 901 FC (10-8-8, 38 points)

Sporting Kansas City II: Kendall McIntosh; Kayden Pierre, Graham Smith, Kaveh Rad (C), Isaiah LeFlore; Jahon Rad (Petar Cuic 80'), Ozzie Cisneros (Ropapa Mensah 80'), Jake Davis; Mataeo Bunbury (Rojay Smith 70'), Wilson Harris, Enoch Mushagalusa
Subs Not Used: Remi Prieur, Danny Barbir, Matt Constant, Jamil Roberts

Memphis 901 FC: Cody Cropper; Mark Segbers, Skylar Thomas, Niall Logue, Laurent Kissiedou (Rashawn Dally 90+2'); Dominic Oduro, Leston Paul (C); Kadeem Dacres (Dre Fortune 81'), Raul Gonzalez (Brecc Evans 68'), Alan Winn (Roland Lamah 67'); Kyle Murphy (Michael Salazar 90+2')
Subs Not Used: Brady Scott, Zach Carroll

Scoring Summary:
SKC -- Enoch Mushagalusa 8 (Jake Davis 6) 17’
MEM -- Kyle Murphy 16 (Kadeem Dacres 6) 20'
MEM -- Kyle Murphy 17 (penalty kick) 74'
MEM -- Roland Lamah 2 (Michael Salazar 2) 90+5'

Misconduct Summary:
MEM -- Leston Paul (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 25'
SKC -- Kaveh Rad (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 40'
MEM -- Kyle Murphy (yellow card; simulation) 60'
SKC -- Jake Davis (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 69'
SKC -- Kendall McIntosh (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 73'
SKC -- Graham Smith (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 86'
SKC -- Petar Cuic (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 87'
MEM -- Dominic Oduro (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 88'

Match Statistics
Match Statistics
Shots on Goal
Corner Kicks

Referee: Danielle Chesky
Assistant Referee: Zeno Cho
Assistant Referee: Austin Holt
Fourth Official: Albert Kyei-Mensah