Sporting Kansas City suffered a 3-1 defeat to Real Salt Lake on Saturday at sold-out Children’s Mercy Park, falling to their Utah rivals at home for the second time this season.
Juan Manuel Martinez fired Real Salt Lake ahead in the 32nd minute before an own goal doubled the visitors’ advantage on the stroke of halftime. Dom Dwyer reduced the deficit five minutes after the restart, but Yura Movsisyan quickly restored the two-goal cushion to seal the victory. The Rivalry Week result keeps Sporting KC (5-7-2, 17 points) in seventh place in the Western Conference standings, while Real Salt Lake (6-3-2, 20 points) leaps from sixth to third.
An unchanged lineup from last Sunday's 2-1 win over Orlando City SC saw midfielder Roger Espinoza play his 150th MLS match for Sporting Kansas City, while Benny Feilhaber logged his 100th regular season appearance with the club.
The hosts manufactured two clearcut chances within the first half-hour. Brad Davis’ curling cross from the left wing found Dwyer at the far post in the 18th minute, but the Englishman’s header sailed wide of Nick Rimando’s lefthand post. Dwyer turned creator 10 minutes later, serving an excellent ball into the six-yard area for an open Graham Zusi, who couldn’t steer an effort on goal.
Real Salt Lake made Sporting Kansas City pay with the game’s opening goal on 32 minutes. Joao Plata intercepted a pass on the edge of the box and ignited a four-pass sequence that ended with Plata squaring low to Martinez, who hammered home unmarked at the far post.
Rimando was forced to make a pair of saves in the 37th minute, the first from Nuno Coelho’s audacious 50-yard blast that required the veteran goalkeeper to touch over the crossbar. Rimando produced a superb stop just seconds later, springing at full extension to push Benny Feilhaber’s cleanly struck volley beyond the left post.
Sporting Kansas City was unfortunate to go down 2-0 in first-half stoppage time, just seconds after Tim Melia did brilliantly to leap and palm Plata’s bending free kick above the far right corner. Movsisyan, playing against his former MLS club, pulled the trigger from a tight angle on the right side of the penalty area. The stinging shot was off target but deflected off Davis and into the back of the net for an own goal.
The first eight minutes of the second half produced goals from both teams. Sporting Kansas City wasted little time grabbing one back in the 50th minute off an excellent run from Jimmy Medranda. The diminutive Colombian collected a long throw downfield from Melia and burst into the central attacking third from the left side, slipping a perfectly weighted diagonal ball to Dwyer. The forward took two touches before side-footing past Rimando for his team-leading sixth goal of 2016, while Medranda tallied the first assist of his Sporting KC career.
Just three minutes later, however, Real Salt Lake was back on the scoresheet. Kyle Beckerman picked out Movsisyan, who carried the ball 20 yards toward goal before chipping past Melia for his third goal of the campaign.
Davis thought he had given Sporting Kansas City a lifeline in the 64th minute, unleashing a left-footed curler to the right corner, but another masterful stop from the outstretched Rimando left onlooking fans in frustration. Three minutes later, Feilhaber and Davis combined brilliantly on the edge of the 18-yard box before the latter played the ball behind the defense. Dwyer’s subsequent shot would would scream just high of the target, drawing a curtain on his team’s third home setback in 2016 after falling just twice at Children’s Mercy Park last season.
Sporting Kansas City will conclude its three-game home stand Friday against four-time MLS Cup champion D.C. United (3-5-4, 13 points) at Children's Mercy Park. The match will be televised nationally on UniMas and locally on 38 The Spot with kickoff at 6 p.m. CT. A limited number of tickets for the interconference clash are available at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 888-4KC-GOAL.
2016 MLS Regular Season
Game 14 of 34
Children's Mercy Park | Kansas City, Kansas
Attendance: 20,618 (77th straight sellout)
Weather: 70 degrees and rainy
|Sporting Kansas City (5-7-2, 17 pts)||0||1||1|
|Real Salt Lake (6-3-2, 20 pts)||2||1||3|
Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Saad Abdul-Salaam, Nuno Coelho, Matt Besler (Ike Opara 85), Jimmy Medranda; Benny Feilhaber (Jacob Peterson 77), Soni Mustivar, Roger Espinoza; Brad Davis, Dom Dwyer, Graham Zusi
Subs Not Used: Alec Kann, Chance Myers, Lawrence Olum, Paulo Nagamura, Diego Rubio
Real Salt Lake: Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Justen Glad, Aaron Maund, Chris Wingert (Demar Phillips 68); Sunday Stephen, Javier Morales, Kyle Beckerman; Juan Manuel Martinez, Yura Movsisyan (Luke Mulholland 90), Joao Plata (Devon Sandoval 78)
Subs Not Used: Jeff Attinella, Jamison Olave, John Stertzer, Jordan Allen
|Shots on Goal||4||3|
RSL -- Sunday Stephen (caution; unsporting behavior) 79
SKC -- Roger Espinoza (caution; unsporting behavior) 95+
RSL -- Juan Manuel Martinez 3 (Joao Plata 5, Javier Morales 1) 32
RSL -- Brad Davis (own goal) 47+
SKC -- Dom Dwyer 6 (Jimmy Medranda 1) 50
RSL -- Yura Movsisyan 3 (Kyle Beckerman 1) 53