For the second straight week, Sporting Kansas City emerged from enemy territory with a hard-earned result. And for the second straight week, they had to live with the fact that one point very well could have been three.
In a delicately poised 2-2 stalemate with Toronto FC on Friday night at BMO Field, Manager Peter Vermes' men carried a 2-1 lead deep into second-half stoppage time. Seconds away from securing a massive away win ahead of the Concacaf Gold Cup break, the visitors conceded a 95th-minute equalizer off the boot of Jordan Hamilton as the Reds narrowly avoided defeat on home soil.
"The game plan was good," Vermes remarked after the match. "Both penalties I thought were deserving. We played the way we wanted to play. That’s two weeks in a row and unfortunately, we come away with one point (again), which is the sad thing."
The penalties that Vermes references came courtesy of Felipe Gutierrez, who bagged both of Sporting's goals from the penalty spot on Friday night. The Chilean sent Toronto goalkeeper Quentin Westberg the wrong way in both halves, and in doing so, became just the second player in Sporting history to bury two penalties in the same regular season game.
The first such occurrence was also at Toronto's expense, as Dom Dwyer notched a pair in a 4-1 win at Children's Mercy Park on Aug. 16, 2014. Friday marked just the eighth time that Sporting has been awarded two penalties in an MLS match.
SPORTING KC: ONE MATCH, TWO PENALTIES
(MLS REGULAR SEASON)
|Date||Opponent||Result||1st Penalty||2nd Penalty|
|09/12/1997||NY RED BULLS||L 0-1||Preki (miss)||Mo Johnson (miss)|
|07/28/2004||NY RED BULLS||L 1-2||Chris Klein (goal)||Chris Klein (miss)|
|09/10/2004||at Colorado Rapids||L 1-3||Josh Wolff (goal)||Josh Wolff (miss)|
|07/04/2012||at Montreal Impact||W 3-1||Kei Kamara (goal)||Graham Zusi (goal)|
|08/16/2014||TORONTO FC||W 4-1||Dom Dwyer (goal)||Dom Dwyer (goal)|
|10/21/2018||at FC Dallas||W 3-0||Ilie Sanchez (miss)||Johnny Russell (goal)|
|04/20/2019||at San Jose Earthquakes||L 1-4||Krisztian Nemeth (miss)||Felipe Gutierrez (goal)|
|06/07/2019||at Toronto FC||T 2-2||Felipe Gutierrez (goal)||Felipe Gutierrez (goal)|
Vermes' men may have left Toronto with sour tastes in their mouths, but they depart Ontario having reached an unprecedented milestone in club history.
Sporting's regular-season unbeaten run versus Toronto has now reached 10 matches, good for the team's longest against a single opponent all-time.
Since falling 2-1 at Rogers Centre on March 9, 2013, Sporting has taken six wins and four draws in 10 meetings with the Reds.
SPORTING KC: LONGEST UNBEATEN RUNS
VS. SINGLE OPPONENT (MLS REGULAR SEASON)
|10||Toronto FC||2013-2019 (active)|
|9||Tampa Bay Mutiny||1998-2001|
|7||New England Revolution||2005-2007|
|7||New England Revolution||2000-2003|
Perhaps more remarkably, Sporting has avoided defeat in eight straight trips to BMO Field. The last time Kansas City lost at the stadium was April 26, 2009, more than 10 years ago and before Vermes had even begun his managerial tenure.
As mentioned above, Toronto's lone win in their last 17 games against Sporting took place at Rogers Centre, a 50,000-seat stadium that serves as the current home of Major League Baseball's Toronto Blue Jays.
Sporting's last eight visits to BMO Field are listed below. The unbeaten run includes four wins and five shutouts.
SPORTING KC AT BMO FIELD SINCE 2010
Sporting will now prepare for their opening fixture in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, a fourth round matchup at Minnesota United FC on Wednesday. The match will kick off at 7 p.m. CT inside the new Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minnesota, and will be streamed live on ESPN+.