Beyond The Box Score: Felipe Gutierrez hits seventh heaven as Sporting bag 500th road goal

As the saying goes, two is company but three's a crowd.

Not the case for Sporting Kansas City.

Manager Peter Vermes' men delivered a resolute road display on Sunday, using a 48th-minute strike from Felipe Gutierrez to emerge 1-0 winners at the expense of Columbus Crew SC.

The well-earned result at MAPFRE Stadium gave Sporting their first MLS away win of the season and lifted the side within a point of the seventh and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Gutierrez's point-blank header three minutes after the restart, set up brilliantly by the indefatigable Gerso Fernandes, was his seventh goal of the MLS campaign and vaulted the Chilean into a three-way tie for most on the team. Krisztian Nemeth and Johnny Russell have also bagged seven on the season, which brings us to the statistical rarity that emerged from Sunday's contest.

Indeed, this marks the first time in Sporting's 24-year history that three players have tallied seven MLS goals before the end of June. Moreover, the trio of Gutierrez, Nemeth and Russell make Sporting the only team in MLS to have three players with seven goals this year.

Sunday's goal was also cause for a milestone celebration, serving as Sporting's 500th all-time away goal in all competitions. The club's 500 strikes away from home consist of 419 in the MLS regular season, 22 in the MLS Cup Playoffs, 37 in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and 22 in international matches.

The important win improves Sporting to 7-1-2 in the past 10 MLS meetings against Columbus since 2013 and an impressive 4-1-2 in the team's last seven trips to MAPFRE Stadium.

Sporting will next head to Real Salt Lake to close out a five-game road trip in the month of June. The 2013 MLS Cup rematch will kick off at 9 p.m. CT on Saturday, live on FOX Sports Kansas City, with the club's official watch party taking place at No Other Pub in the Kansas City Power & Light District.

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