Sporting Kansas City II (2-3-1, 7 points) extended the club’s road unbeaten run to three games in an exciting 1-1 draw at rivals Saint Louis FC (3-2-1, 10 points) on Wednesday night at West Community Stadium in Fenton, Missouri.
Enoch Mushagalusa gave the spirited visitors a 1-0 lead in the 56th minute, but Saint Louis FC captain Phanuel Kavita denied Sporting KC II a third consecutive away win by converting a dramatic equalizer in the sixth minute of second-half stoppage time.
Taking the field for the fourth time in 12 days, Sporting KC II deployed a lineup that featured three changes from Saturday’s 1-0 win at Indy Eleven. Head coach Paulo Nagamura rotated on all three lines as Mushagalusa, defender Kaveh Rad and midfielder Camden Riley replaced Dominik Resetar, Petar Cuic and Jahon Rad, respectively.
Mushagalusa nearly landed the first punch in the 17th minute, intercepting a stray pass from Guy Abend near midfield and swiftly beating Kavita before seeing his breakaway effort saved by Saint Louis’ debutant goalkeeper John Berner. Twenty minutes later, opposite winger Fredinho Mompremier embarked on a weaving run into the penalty area, but a swarm of opposing defenders converged to prevent him from unfurling a shot.
A formidable Saint Louis offense, featuring former Sporting KC II forward Tyler Blackwood and Kansas City native Kyle Greig and, was well shepherded during the first half. The hosts managed just three shot attempts in the opening 45 minutes, none of which tested 18-year-old goalkeeper Brooks Thompson.
Blackwood and Greig both threatened within five minutes of the restart, the former belting a fierce half-volley inches over the crossbar following a counterattack and the latter dragging a shot that Thompson corralled comfortably.
The second half’s lively start ebbed in favor of Sporting II on 53 minutes, when Mompremier’s lung-busting run down the left wing preceded a teasing cross that carried just beyond the reach of Mushagalusa and Harris.
Just three minutes later, Mushagalusa and Harris were involved in Sporting II’s deserved opener. Mompremier’s looping ball over the top set Harris free on the left channel, and although his left-footed attempt at a tight angle was blocked by Berner, Mushagalusa was on hand to finish into an empty net for his first goal in a Sporting II uniform.
Both sides traded chances in the 10 minutes that followed, with Thompson sprawling right to smother Greig’s fizzing strike and Sporting KC Academy product Jake Davis doing wonderfully to create space and fire fractionally wide from 22 yards.
Davis was at the heart of Sporting II’s attack once more in the 68th minute, surging along the right endline and pulling it back for Mompremier, but his first-time blast rattled the crossbar and spared Saint Louis’ blushes. Shortly thereafter, another delightful Mompremier delivery was nearly prodded home at the far post by Harris.
Saint Louis committed men forward in search of a late equalizer and almost paid the price on the counter, as Sporting II substitute Dominik Resetar narrowly missed the target in the 84th minute. At the opposite end, Paris Gee advanced into the box and steered an open header well wide before whipping in a cross that evaded the leaping Greig by the slimmest of margins.
A furious wave of Saint Louis pressure resulted in a dramatic equalizer from Kavita in the 96th minute. Sporting KC II failed to clear an in-swinging corner kick, and a goalmouth scramble ended with the ball dribbling kindly to Kavita, whose strike caromed off the post and nestled into the back of the net.
Sporting KC II are off this weekend and will continue their unprecedented road wing in Group E of the USL Championship on Aug. 12 by visiting Louisville City FC for the third time in as many weeks. Kickoff at the new Lynn Family Stadium is set for 7 p.m. CT with a live stream on ESPN Plus.
2020 USL Championship
Match 6 of 16
West Community Stadium | Fenton, Missouri
Weather: 75 degrees and sunny
|Sporting Kansas City II (2-3-1, 7 points)||0||1||1|
|Saint Louis FC (3-2-1, 10 points)||0||1||1|
Sporting Kansas City II: Brooks Thompson; Sam Raben (Petar Cuic 46'), Kaveh Rad, Danny Barbir, Dillon Serna (Duval Wapiwo 70'); Camden Riley, Christian Duke (C), Jake Davis; Enoch Mushagalusa (Jaret Townsend 62'), Wilson Harris (Dominik Resetar 70'), Fredinho Mompremier (Ryan Fessler 87')
Subs Not Used: Remi Prieur, Jahon Rad
Saint Louis FC: John Berner; Sam Fink, Phanuel Kavita (C), Daniel Fischer; Richard Bryan (Paris Gee 58'), Guy Abend (Todd Wharton 70'), Oscar Umar (Mour Samb 80'), Wal Fall (Kadeem Dacres 80'), Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare (Russell Cicerone 71;); Kyle Greig, Tyler Blackwood
Subs Not Used: Kyle Morton, Nikiphoros Vlastos
SKC -- Enoch Mushagalusa 1 (unassisted) 56’
STL -- Phanuel Kavita 1 (unassisted) 90+6
SKC -- Camden Riley (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 42'
|Shots on Goal||3||5|
Referee: Jon Freemon
Assistant Referee: Shane Kennard
Assistant Referee: Ryan Cook
Fourth Official: Matt Geringer