HIGHLIGHTS: Sporting KC 2-1 Colorado Rapids | May 18, 2022

Daniel Salloi struck in both halves as Sporting Kansas City (3-7-3, 12 points) snapped a seven-match winless skid by claiming a 2-1 triumph over the Colorado Rapids (4-5-3, 15 points) in a hotly contested Western Conference clash at Children’s Mercy Park.

In a heated battle that boiled over with an MLS-record four red cards, all coming in second-half stoppage time, Salloi dazzled by conjuring two convictive strikes for his first multi-goal home match since last June versus the same opponent. The homegrown forward has bagged five goals in six career appearances against the Rapids, who on Wednesday dropped to 0-5-1 on the road this season and 1-4-3 in their last eight meetings with Sporting.

With multiple goals in four of their last five matches across all competitions, Sporting will aim to continue their winning ways on Sunday when they visit the San Jose Earthquakes for a 6:30 p.m. CT kickoff at PayPal Park. The match will be shown live on 38 The Spot, the Sporting KC app and SportingKC.com while also airing on ESPN 94.5 FM and La Grande 1340 AM.

Looking to bounce back from a road loss to the Portland Timbers on Saturday and navigating a seven-game stretch in the space of 22 days, Sporting Manager Peter Vermes deployed a revamped lineup that featured four changes. Striker Nikola Vujnovic replaced the injured Khiry Shelton, midfielder Felipe Hernandez and center back Andreu Fontas filled in for suspended duo Roger Espinoza and Robert Voloder, respectively, and veteran Ben Sweat was deployed as a right back as Cam Duke dropped to the bench. In the center of the park, holding midfielder Uri Rosell hit a milestone by making his 50th regular season appearance for Sporting.

The visitors were first to forge an incisive attack as Jonathan Lewis slipped a pass to the overlapping Esteves on the right side in the fourth minute, but Sporting center back Kortne Ford—squaring off against his former club—did well to stretch out a foot and block the ensuing shot attempt from a tight angle.

Salloi vaulted Sporting ahead with a magical display of individual skill in the 24th minute. The 25-year-old winger surged down the left channel, slalomed through Colorado’s Lalas Abubakar and Jack Price and sent a low drive past Rapids goalkeeper William Yarbrough for his third goal of the MLS campaign. Rosell also tabbed an assist on the play, his first for the team since 2013.

Sporting’s 1-0 advantage lasted only five minutes. The Rapids offered a quick reply near the half-hour mark when Esteves prodded home at close range after Colorado striker Gyasi Zardes kept the ball alive amidst a goalmouth scramble after Lewis’ swept a low cross into the box from the left wing.

Vujnovic was forced to exit with a calf injury in the 34th minute and Colorado nearly compounded Sporting’s misfortune two minutes later as former Kansas City striker Diego Rubio secured possession following a blocked Colorado free kick and rifled a sizzling shot narrowly wide of Sporting goalkeeper Tim Melia’s righthand post.

Tzionis provided a spark upon his introduction and almost helped Sporting reclaim the lead on the stroke of intermission. The diminutive Cypriot found a pocket of space 30 yards from goal, cut the ball onto his patented right foot and curled a shot inches over the crossbar.

Salloi’s brilliant performance carried into the second half as the Hungarian international struck again in the 50th minute. Ford’s searching diagonal ball skipped across the turf, past the outstretched foot of Abubakar and fell invitingly to Salloi, who took a touch inside the penalty area before finishing coolly past Yarbrough for his team-leading fourth tally of the season. The Sporting KC Academy product is third in MLS since the start of 2021 with 18 goals from the run of play and has now scored 43 times for Sporting in all competitions, tying Chris Klein for sixth most in club history.

Colorado midfielder Bryan Acosta gave the hosts a scare in the 72nd minute, but his screaming free kick from 25 yards dipped high and wide by the slimmest of margins. Shortly thereafter at the opposite end, Sporting captain Johnny Russell saw his audacious long-range blast deflect behind for a corner kick that Colorado defended successfully.

The game’s first save would come with nine minutes remaining as Melia dropped low to corral Rubio’s low piledriver off a Colorado set piece. Sporting’s keeper did even better to deny Lewis in the 87th minute, producing the finest save of the night by stretching right to cast aside the winger’s bouncing shot from 12 yards.

The Rapids were left frustrated by their floundering bid for a late equalizer and suffered another blow in the first minute of second-half added time when center back Auston Trusty received his marching orders from referee Drew Fischer after picking up his second yellow card of the evening.

Despite its numerical disadvantage, Colorado threatened once more on the cusp of full time, but Melia tipped Mark-Anthony Kaye’s off-balance header over the bar. The incident preceded a malicious altercation between the teams as Esteves, Salloi and Fontas were shown red cards for violent conduct.

2022 MLS Regular Season | Match 13
Children's Mercy Park | Kansas City, Kansas
Attendance: 17,233
Weather: 80 degrees and sunny

Sporting KC 2-1 Colorado Rapids
Sporting KC 2-1 Colorado Rapids
Sporting Kansas City (3-7-3, 12 points)
Colorado Rapids (4-5-3, 15 points)

Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Ben Sweat, Kortne Ford, Andreu Fontas, Logan Ndenbe; Uri Rosell, Remi Walter, Felipe Hernandez; Johnny Russell (C), Nikola Vujnovic (Marinos Tzionis 34' (Cam Duke 90+10')), Daniel Salloi

Subs Not Used: John Pulskamp, Kayden Pierre, Kaveh Rad, Jake Davis, Julian Vazquez

Colorado Rapids: William Yarbrough; Lalas Abubakar, Danny Wilson, Auston Trusty; Keegan Rosenberry, Jack Price (C) (Mark-Anthony Kaye 46'), Bryan Acosta (Nicolas Mezquida 82'), Lucas Esteves; Diego Rubio; Gyasi Zardes (Michael Barrios 64'), Jonathan Lewis

Subs Not Used: Clint Irwin, Steven Beitashour, Anthony Markanich, Gustavo Vallecilla, Max Alves, Collen Warner

Scoring Summary:
SKC -- Daniel Salloi 3 (Uri Rosell 1) 24'
COL -- Lucas Esteves 1 (Gyasi Zardes 1) 29'
SKC -- Daniel Salloi 4 (unassisted) 50'

Misconduct Summary:
COL -- Bryan Acosta (yellow card; delaying a restart) 3'
SKC -- Felipe Hernandez (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 58'
COL -- Auston Trusty (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 78'
SKC -- Logan Ndenbe (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 79'
COL -- Lalas Abubakar (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 90'
COL -- Auston Trusty (red card; second yellow card) 90+1'
COL -- Diego Rubio (yellow card; dissent) 90+1'
COL -- Lucas Esteves (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 90+3'
COL -- Lucas Esteves (red card; violent conduct) 90+6'
SKC -- Andreu Fontas (red card; violent conduct) 90+6'
SKC -- Daniel Salloi (red card; serious foul play) 90+9'

Match Statistics
Match Statistics
Shots on Goal
Corner Kicks

Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistant Referee: Kathryn Nesbitt
Assistant Referee: Meghan Mullen
Fourth Official: Joe Dickerson
VAR: Daniel Radford
AVAR: Tom Supple