Sporting Kansas City II

Recap: Enoch Mushagalusa strikes as Sporting KC II takes narrow 2-1 loss to Indy Eleven

Sporting Kansas City II (1-5-4, 7 points) took a narrow 2-1 loss to Indy Eleven (4-4-1, 13 points) on a scorching Sunday afternoon at sunny Children’s Mercy Park. Enoch Mushagalusa bagged his third goal in as many games for the hosts, but Indy emerged victorious behind strikes in either half from Nicky Law and Gordon Wild.

Navigating a busy stretch of four matches in 11 days, Sporting Kansas City II deployed a new-look lineup that featured four changed from Wednesday’s pulsating 4-3 loss at FC Tulsa. Sporting KC homegrown goalkeeper John Pulskamp stepped between the posts, center back Matt Constant joined the back line, Jahon Rad filled the defensive midfield position and homegrown attacker Tyler Freeman was deployed as a striker.

Indy and Sporting KC II traded goals within 60 seconds of each other during a first half that gradually grew in tempo. The visitors landed the first punch on a well-worked transition attack that saw Wild and Ayoze combine before teeing up Law, who slotted home from close range.

Nagamura’s men responded admirably, drawing level in the 20th minute when Mushagalusa gave chase to captain Christian Duke’s pass down the left flank, cut centrally from the left endline and finished past Indy goalkeeper Bobby Edwards from a tight angle. Mushagalusa now has three goals in his last three games, having struck twice in SKC II’s 2-2 road stalemate with Atlanta United 2 on June 9.

Pulskamp produced a pair of excellent saves off Indy corner kicks in the 25th and 32nd minutes, first denying a Karl Ouimette header and then foiling Neveal Hackshaw’s impudent effort on the volley.

A late flurry of first-half chances fell to SKC II. In the 42nd minute, Rojay Smith juked his defender on the right edge of the box only to see his curling attempt palmed away by the outstretched Edwards. The Indy goalkeeper was up to the task again three minutes later, sprawling low to cast aside a booming turf-trimmer from Jake Davis off a clever Freeman through ball.

On the cusp of halftime, Freeman flashed a volley inches high off Smith’s pinpoint cross before Mushagalusa’s superbly struck curler from 20 yards rattled the woodwork.

Sporting KC II would rue their barrage of missed opportunities when Indy reclaimed the lead five minutes into the second half. An incisive move through the middle culminated with Manuel Arteaga setting Wild free into the penalty area. The German-born player did well to round Pulskamp and finish from an acute angle for his first goal of the 2021 campaign.

Arteaga nearly went from provider to goal scorer in the 56th minute, latching onto a pinging ball inside the crowded penalty area, but Pulskamp conjured another sublime save to keep the deficit at 2-1.

Midway through the second period, SKC II almost drew level in spectacular fashion as speculative long-range strikes from Davis and Smith fizzed narrowly wide. In the 83rd minute, Smith uncorked another speculative blast from the right side of the box that screamed inches off target.

SKC II will have the opportunity to bounce back quickly when they travel to face OKC Energy FC (1-4-4, 7 points) on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. CT. The Central Division matchup at Taft Stadium will stream live on ESPN Plus.

2021 USL Championship | Match 10
Children's Mercy Park | Kansas City, Kansas
Weather: 93 degrees and sunny

Sporting Kansas City II (1-5-4, 7 points)
Indy Eleven (4-4-1, 13 points)

Sporting Kansas City II: John Pulskamp; Kayden Pierre, Matt Constant (Graham Smith 64'), Aljaz Dzankic, Danny Barbir; Jahon Rad (Petar Cuic 64'), Jake Davis (Ozzie Cisneros 80'), Christian Duke (C); Rojay Smith, Tyler Freeman (Bailey Sparks 80'), Enoch Mushagalusa
Subs Not Used: Gavin Krenecki, Michael Lenis, Jayvin Van Deventer

Indy Eleven: Bobby Edwards; Neveal Hackshaw, A.J. Cochran, Karl Ouimette; Ayoze Garcia (C), Nicky Law, Jared Timmer (Jeremiah Gutjahr 86'), Cammy Smith (Gerson Koffie 67'), Nick Moon; Gordon Wild, Manuel Arteaga (Jordan Hamilton 61')
Subs Not Used: Alexander Svetanoff, Patrick Seagrist, Aboubacar Sissoko, Peter-Lee Vassell

Scoring Summary:
IND -- Nicky Law 1 (Ayoze Garcia 1) 19'
SKC -- Enoch Mushagalusa 3 (Christian Duke 1) 20'
IND -- Gordon Wild 1 (Manuel Arteaga 1) 50'

Misconduct Summary:
IND -- Nicky Law (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 12'
IND -- A.J. Cochran (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 83'
SKC -- Christian Duke (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 90+2'
IND -- Gershon Koffie (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 90+5'

Shots on Goal
Corner Kicks

Referee: Adam Kilpatrick
Assistant Referee: Tom Felice
Assistant Referee: Jack Ryan-Feldman
Fourth Official: Velimir Stefanovic