Match Recap: Johnny Russell scores twice in 3-2 loss to FC Dallas

Sporting Kansas City (6-4-2, 20 points) dropped a 3-2 decision against FC Dallas (5-2-4, 19 points) on Saturday afternoon at Children's Mercy Park. Johnny Russell scored twice in the second half to rally Sporting Kansas City from a 2-0 deficit after Franco Jara scored three minutes before and three minutes after halftime, however Ryan Hollingshead sealed the visitors' third straight victory with an 86th minute game-winner.

After a 1-0 win over Minnesota United FC last weekend, Peter Vermes had the luxury of starting an unchanged lineup on Saturday for the first time since Sporting's home opener on March 7 while still missing the likes of World Cup veterans Alan Pulido, Felipe Gutierrez and Roger Espinoza due to injury.

Playing the team's 200th contest at Children's Mercy Park, the milestone match delivered from the opening kick off with a frantic first 30 minutes of action. Russell attempted his first of seven shots - one shy of the eight he recorded in the previous meeting with FC Dallas on Sept. 2 -- in the game's second minute, forcing an early save from Jimmy Maurer.

On the opposite end, Tim Melia was called into action two minutes later to put an end to a dangerous FC Dallas counter and deny Fabrice Jean-Picault.

Sporting nearly took the lead in the 10th minute when Gerso's deflected effort floated past Maurer only to strike the far post. Two minutes later, Maurer raced off his line but failed to beat Khiry Shelton to the ball however referee Alex Chilowicz awarded a goal kick rather than a penalty following the collision in the penalty area. VAR Allen Chapman checked the play, but did not recommend a review.

Melia, who had already logged back-to-back saves in the 13th and 16th minutes, did well to keep out Jara's half volley in the 28th minute. After facing no shots on goal a week ago, and only five total shots when SKC last faced Dallas on Sept. 2, Melia made his fifth save of the first half in the 32nd minute on Saturday - matching the club-high for a goalkeeper during the first half of an MLS regular season match during the Opta era (2010-present).

Sporting Kansas City continued to create chances, as well, including a high-quality attack in the 29th minute. Shelton nodded down Luis Martins' cross from the left flank for Gerso, unmarked at the top of the six-yard box, however his first-time strike was off frame.

Instead, it was FC Dallas that opened the scoring on the cusp of halftime in the 42nd minute. After scoring in each of his team's last two matches, Jara latched onto the end of a cross from John Nelson and headed home his third goal in eight days. The Argentine's three-game goal scoring streak is the longest active streak in MLS and matches the longest such streak of the season in MLS.

Jara picked up right where he left off after the halftime intermission, pouncing on a loose ball in the box after an FC Dallas corner kick to grab his second goal of the day and fifth of the season in the 48th minute.

Sporting KC responded nearly immediately, capitalizing on a corner of their own. Gianluca Busio's service found its way to Russell near the penalty spot and the Scottish international fired it home off the inside of the post with his left foot to pull Sporting back within a single goal. The goal also extended Sporting's scoring streak and, with goals in all 12 regular season games in 2020, matched the club record for most consecutive games with a goal to start a season.

After Tim Melia produced his best stop of the match to thwart Michael Barrios with a kick save in the 75th minute, Russell and Busio would team up again on a set piece to level the match. Busio, an 18-year-old Sporting KC Academy product, zipped a well-struck service from the left edge of the penalty area into the box and onto the head of Russell for his team-leading fifth goal of the year.

The momentum generated by the two-goal comeback would prove to be short-lived, as FC Dallas secured the three points just three minutes later. Barrios intercepted an under-hit back pass intended for Melia, who momentarily came to the rescue with a superb sliding challenge only to see the ball fall to Hollingshead for a first-time finish and his first goal since August of 2019.

FC Dallas was reduced to 10 men in the 90th minute as second-half substitute Bryan Acosta received his second caution of the game -- on a day the team received five of their seven yellow cards for time wasting -- but held on for the road result and improved to 3-0-1 in their last four trips to Kansas City.

 

2020 MLS Regular Season
Match 12 of 23

Children's Mercy Park | Kansas City, Kansas
Weather: 72 degrees and sunny

Score 1 2 F
Sporting Kansas City (6-4-2, 20 points) 0 2 2
FC Dallas (5-2-4, 19 points) 1 2 3

Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Graham Zusi, Roberto Puncec, Matt Besler (C), Luis Martins (Amadou Dia 48'); Gianluca Busio, Felipe Hernandez, Gadi Kinda; Johnny Russell, Khiry Shelton, Gerso Fernandes (Ilie Sanchez 46')
Subs Not Used: John Pulskamp, Andreu Fontas, Jaylin Lindsey, Graham Smith, Cam Duke, Wan Kuzain, Erik Hurtado

FC Dallas: Jimmy Maurer; John Nelson, Reto Ziegler, Matt Hedges, Bryan Reynolds; Tanner Tessmann, Thiago Santos, Santiago Mosquera (Michael Barrios 56'), Brandon Servania (Bryan Acosta 56'), Fabrice Jean-Picault (Ryan Hollingshead 65'); Franco Jara (Bressan 73')
Subs Not Used: Phelipe, Jesus Ferreira, Dante Sealy, Ricardo Pepi, Ricaurte Velez

Scoring Summary:
DAL - Franco Jara 4 (John Nelson 1) 42'
DAL - Franco Jara 5 (unassisted) 48'
SKC - Johnny Russell 4 (unassisted) 53'
SKC - Johnny Russell 5 (Gianluca Busio 1) 83'
DAL - Ryan Hollingshead 1 (unassisted) 86'

Misconduct Summary:
SKC - Gianluca Busio (caution; unsporting behavior) 11'
DAL - Franco Jara (caution; delaying a restart) 73'
DAL - Michael Barrios (caution; delaying a restart) 75'
DAL - Bryan Acosta (caution; delaying a restart) 75'
DAL - Technical Staff (caution; dissent) 75'
SKC - Johnny Russell (caution; unsporting behavior) 80'
DAL - Bressan (caution; delaying a restart) 82'
DAL - Bryan Acosta (caution; unsporting behavior) 90'
DAL - Bryan Acosta (ejection; second caution) 90'
DAL - Thiago Santos (caution; delaying a restart) 94+

Stat SKC DAL
Shots 20 13
Shots on Goal 4 9
Saves 6 2
Fouls 9 14
Offsides 1 1
Corner Kicks 8 5

Referee: Alex Chilowicz
Assistant Referee: Peter Manikowski
Assistant Referee: Peter Balciunas
VAR: Allen Chapman
AVAR: Jeffrey Swartzel

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