Sporting Kansas City (7-9-7, 28 points) claimed an enthralling 3-2 victory over Seattle Sounders FC (11-7-5, 38 points) at CenturyLink Field on Sunday night. Leading goalscorer Felipe Gutierrez scored twice in the first half before striker Erik Hurtado, making his first MLS start for the club, scored the game-winner midway through the second period.
After goalkeeper Tim Melia enjoyed several early interventions to repel Seattle attacks, it was Sporting that had the first chance of the game as Benny Feilhaber’s volleyed attempt from distance was deflected narrowly over the bar in the fifth minute.
In the 12th minute, Sporting took the lead through leading scorer Gutierrez. Following a flowing move from back to front, Seth Sinovic slid a lovely pass into the path of Gutierrez who in-turn slammed an accurate finish into the side-netting of Stefan Frei’s goal to make the score 1-0 to the visitors.
Seattle center back Xavier Arreaga headed wide in the 16th minute before Jordan Morris’ attempt was snuffed out by an onrushing Tim Melia in the 28th minute as Seattle looked to get back into the game.
In the 32nd minute, Gerso Fernandes was scythed down from behind by Seattle left back Nouhou Tolo, however referee Ismail Elfath waved play on. During the next break in play, Elfath consulted with his Video Assistant Referee before awarding Sporting the penalty. Gutierrez stepped up and converted the spot kick for his team-leading 10th goal of the season.
Seattle forced their way back into the game early in the second half as Nicolas Lodeiro’s sumptuous through ball found the run of Jordan Morris, who slid his finish low beyond Melia into the back of the net to cut Sporting’s advantage to 2-1 in the 46th minute.
With the hosts pushing for an equalizer, it was Sporting KC that found the crucial fourth goal of the contest as Hurtado, making his first MLS start for the club following knee surgery in March, raced onto a pass from Gerso and rounded Kim Kee-hee before slamming a low finish into the bottom corner to give the visitors a 3-1 lead.
Moments after Seattle substitute Justin Dhillon was denied by Melia, Sporting sub Johnny Russell tested Frei with a low effort after he dribbled past his Sounders marker in the 80th minute. Instead, Morris bagged his second goal of the game for Seattle as he latched onto a pass behind the Sporting backline and slid a composed finish beyond Melia into the bottom corner to set up a nervy finish at CenturyLink Field.
Gerso forced Frei into a low save in the 84th minute before Sounders sub Handwalla Bwana rattled the Sporting KC woodwork with the clock ticking into second-half stoppage time. Melia denied Morris once again in the second minute of added time as Spprting held on to claim all three points and improve to 7-9-7 on the season.
Sporting Kansas City returns home next weekend as the side will take on rivals Real Salt Lake at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday, August 10 as the club hosts Sporting Salutes. The contest will kick off at 7:30 p.m. CT with live coverage on FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports GO, Sports Radio 810 WHB and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM.
2019 MLS Regular Season
Game 23 of 34
CenturyLink Field | Seattle, WA
Weather: 81 degrees and sunny
|Sporting Kansas City (7-9-7, 28 points)||2||1||3|
|Seattle Sounders FC (11-7-5, 38 points)||0||2||2|
Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Graham Zusi, Andreu Fontas, Matt Besler (C), Seth Sinovic; Ilie Sanchez, Benny Feilhaber (Gianluca Busio 64’), Felipe Gutierrez; Gerso Fernandes, Erik Hurtado (Johnny Russell 80’), Daniel Salloi
Subs Not Used: Eric Dick, Nico Hasler, Graham Smith, Jimmy Medranda, Kelyn Rowe
Seattle Sounders FC: Stefan Frei; Saad Abdul-Salaam, Kim Kee-hee, Xavier Arreaga, Nouhou Tolo (Jordy Delem 86’); Danny Leyva, Cristian Roldan, Harry Shipp (Justin Dhillon 59’), Nicolas Lodeiro, Joevin Jones (Handwalla Bwana 69’); Jordan Morris
Subs Not Used: Bryan Meredith, Jonathan Campbell, Kelvin Leerdam, Alex Roldan
SKC – Felipe Gutierrez 9 (Seth Sinovic 1) 12’
SKC – Felipe Gutierrez 10 (Penalty Kick) 33’
SEA – Jordan Morris 6 (Nicolas Lodeiro 10) 46’
SKC – Erik Hurtado 1 (Gerso Fernandes 5) 58’
SEA – Jordan Morris 7 (Handwalla Bwana 1) 82’
SEA – Nouhou Tolo (Yellow Card; Persistent Infringement) 35’
SKC – Seth Sinovic (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 40’
SKC – Gerso Fernandes (Yellow Card; Persistent Infringement) 53’
SEA – Saad Abdul-Salaam (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 55’
SKC – Benny Feilhaber (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 62’
SEA – Nicolas Lodeiro (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 71’
|Shots on Goal||7||5|
Referee: Ismail Elfath
Assistant Referee: Frank Anderson
Assistant Referee: Mike Rottersman
Fourth Official: Baldomero Toledo
VAR: Kevin Stott
AVAR: Rene Parra