Recap: Kendall McIntosh makes six saves as SKC II falls 1-0 to Indy Eleven

Jake Davis - Sporting KC II at Indy Eleven - Sept. 11, 2021

Sporting Kansas City II (4-14-7, 19 points) fell to a narrow 1-0 loss at Indy Eleven (8-10-5, 29 points) on Saturday night at Michael A. Carroll Stadium. Goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh made six impressive saves for the visitors, but Indy Eleven broke SKC II's resolve on a 77th-minute goal from Gordon Wild to claim victory.

Head coach Paulo Nagamura fielded an unchanged lineup from last weekend's 3-0 home win over OKC Energy FC as 17-year-old Sporting KC Academy product Ozzie Cisneros was deployed at center forward, flanked by wingers Enoch Mushagalusa and Jamil Roberts. Captain Christian Duke manned the midfield alongside Petar Cuic and Jake Davis, while goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh was protected by a back four of Kayden Pierre, Aljaz Dzankic, Graham Smith and Isaiah LeFlore. The starting XI featured five Academy graduates and five MLS loanees from Sporting Kansas City.

McIntosh did brilliantly to keep the game scoreless in the ninth minute. Indy midfielder Rece Buckmaster found a pocket of space to shoot from the right side of the box, but his thumping effort was palmed impressively over the bar by the Sporting KC II gloveman. The hosts would threaten again on the subsequent corner kick, prompting SKC II to usher clear amid a goalmouth scramble.

Dzankic was next to spare SKC II's blushes in the 14th minute, repelling Buckmaster's cross before blocking Wild's rebound attempt with his back to the goal line.

The visitors responded with their first chance of the night in the 20th minute. LeFlore crossed low into the penalty area to Cisneros, who dinked the ball into the path of Roberts. His shot under heavy duress deflected off a defender and skipped marginally wide of the mark.

At the opposite end, Wild conjured another scare by hammering a shot off the outside of the near post on 28 minutes. Undeterred, the playmaker continued to ask questions of the SKC II defense and rattled the woodwork with a 20-yard curler six minutes later. Indy threw another punch just before halftime when Nicky Law's diagonal ball reached Buckmaster at the far post, but the recipient was unable to steer his shot on target with a gaping net at his mercy.

McIntosh carried his stellar performance into the second half, leaping left to cast aside a piledriver from Ayoze. The teams would later trade chances near the 75-minute juncture, as SKC II substitute Ropapa Mensah and Indy reinforcement Carl Haworth missed by narrow margins following well-worked build-ups.

Wild found the back of the net in the 77th minute, landing the elusive haymaker by settling a pass from Nicky Moon, turning his shoulder and poking low past McIntosh for his third goal of the campaign. The scoring play served as the final notable develop in a tepid end to the contest.

SKC II is off next weekend and will return to the pitch on Friday, Sept. 24, when they host FC Tulsa at Children's Mercy Park. The Central Division clash will kick off at 7 p.m. CT and stream live on ESPN Plus.

2021 USL Championship | Match 25
Michael A. Carroll Stadium | Indianapolis, Indiana
Weather: 79 degrees and sunny

Sporting KC II 0-1 Indy Eleven
Sporting KC II 0-1 Indy Eleven
Sporting Kansas City II (4-14-7, 29 points)
Indy Eleven (8-10-5, 29 points)

Sporting Kansas City II: Kendall McIntosh; Kayden Pierre, Aljaz Dzankic, Graham Smith, Isaiah LeFlore; Petar Cuic, Christian Duke (C) (Zion Long 90'), Jake Davis; Jamil Roberts (Rojay Smith 67'), Osvaldo Cisneros (Ropapa Mensah 67'), Enoch Mushagalusa
Subs Not Used: Remi Prieur, Danny Barbir, Matt Constant, Jahon Rad

Indy Eleven: Jordan Farr; Neveal Hackshaw, Karl Ouimette, Jared Timmer, Ayoze (C) (Nicky Moon 74') ; Gershon Koffie (Aboubacar Sissoko 82'), Jeremiah Gutjahr; Rece Buckmaster (Carl Haworth 74'), Nicky Law, Gordon Wild; Manuel Arteaga
Subs Not Used: Robert Edwards, Ecris Revolorio, Alann Torres, Aidan Liu

Scoring Summary:
IND -- Gordon Wild 3 (Nicky Moon 4) 77'

Misconduct Summary:
IND -- Gerson Koffie (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 64'
IND -- Neveal Hackshaw (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 87'
IND -- Gordon Wild (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 89'
SKC -- Petar Cuic (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 90+3'

Match Statistics
Match Statistics
Shots on Goal
Corner Kicks

Referee: JJ Bilinski
Assistant Referee: Matthew Rodman
Assistant Referee: Ethan Buege
Fourth Official: Youssef Elmessoussi