Recap: Ozzie Cisneros scores game-winner as Sporting Kansas City II earns 1-0 victory over Atlanta United 2 in home finale

Sporting Kansas City II (5-17-8, 23 points) earned an entertaining 1-0 victory over Atlanta United 2 (7-13-10, 31 pts.) at Children’s Mercy Park on Wednesday night. In what was the team’s home finale in 2021, Sporting KC Academy product Ozzie Cisneros scored the only goal of the game midway through the second half to secure all three points for Paulo Nagamura’s side.

Sporting II started with six Sporting KC Academy products on the field in defenders Kayden Pierre and Isaiah LeFlore, midfielders Cisneros and Jake Davis and forwards Grayson Barber and Mataeo Bunbury. In addition, goalkeeper John Pulskamp, defenders Pierre and Graham Smith, midfielders Cisneros and Davis and forward Barber were all on loan from the Sporting KC first team.

SKC II started the game on the front foot and almost took the lead inside the opening five minutes as LeFlore floated a long ball into the path of Enoch Mushagalusa whose low effort was well corralled by Atlanta goalkeeper Vicente Reyes.

Ten minutes later, 16-year-old Academy winger Bunbury almost scored his first professional goal but he dragged his effort agonizingly wide after being found by Cisneros in the area. Shortly after, Davis – fresh off scoring his first two professional goals over the weekend – slammed an attempt off the crossbar and out.

Atlanta’s only true chance of the first half fell to Matias Benitez in the 37th minute, but he planted his close-range header right into the arms of Pulskamp.

The visitors enjoyed a better start to the second half, as first Robbie Mertz dragged an effort wide from the edge of the area before Pulskamp was forced into a smart stop to deny Amadou Diop who had broken in one-on-one.

The two sides began to trade chances as the second half wore on, with Mushagalusa testing Reyes at his near post in the 60th minute before Benitez fired a strike into the side-netting 90 seconds later. In the 64th minute, Davis freed Mushagalusa down the left channel and SKC II’s leading scorer curled an attempt just high and wide of the target.

The breakthrough finally came in the 69th minute. Mushagalusa slipped in a lovely disguised pass into the path of Cisneros on the edge of the area, and the 17-year-old dribbled at his man before slamming a confident finish into the bottom corner for what would prove to be the game-winner. The goal was Cisneros’ third of his first professional season, while Mushagalusa tallied his fourth assist on the goal.

Five minutes after taking the lead, SKC II had Pulskamp to thank for keeping their advantage in-tact. Atlanta United 2 curled a free kick on frame from 25 yards and after initially coughing up a rebound, Pulskamp reacted quickest to smother the ball with two Atlanta players charging in for the rebound.

SKC II defended resolutely the remainder of the way as the team secured its fifth win of the season and third at home.

Sporting II hits the road next weekend for their penultimate match of the 2021 season when the team takes on Birmingham Legion FC on Sunday, Oct. 24. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. CT on ESPN+.

2021 USL Championship | Match 30
Children's Mercy Park | Kansas City, Kansas
Weather: 64 degrees and partly cloudy

Sporting KC II 1-0 Atlanta United 2
Sporting KC II 1-0 Atlanta United 2
Sporting Kansas City II (5-17-8, 23 points)
Atlanta United 2 (7-13-10, 31 points)

Sporting Kansas City II: John Pulskamp; Kayden Pierre, Graham Smith (C), Danny Barbir, Isaiah LeFlore; Petar Cuic, Jake Davis, Ozzie Cisneros (Christian Duke 88’); Mataeo Bunbury (Jamil Roberts 87’), Enoch Mushagalusa (Michael Lenis 93+), Grayson Barber (Zion Long 57’)
Subs Not Used: Remi Prieur, Aljaz Dzankic, Jayvin Van Deventer

Atlanta United 2: Vicente Reyes; Aiden McFadden, Josh Bauer, Noah Cobb (Connor Stanley 81’), Bradley Kamdem-Fewo (C); Abdoulaye Diop (Danial Sebhatu 81’), Robbie Mertz, Darwin Matheus; Matias Benitez (Ajani Fortune 66’), Amadou Diop (Phillip Goodrum 69’), Caleb Wiley (David Mejia 46’)
Subs Not Used: Rocco Rios Novo, Bryce Washington

Scoring Summary:
SKC – Ozzie Cisneros 3 (Enoch Mushagalusa 4) 69’

Misconduct Summary:
SKC – Jake Davis (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 44’
SKC – Enoch Mushagalusa (Yellow Card; Time Wasting) 75’
ATL – Josh Bauer (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 79’
ATL – Darwin Matheus (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 93+

Match Statistics
Match Statistics
Shots on Goal
Corner Kicks

Referee: Thomas Snyder
Assistant Referee: Art Arustamyan
Assistant Referee: Matthew Seem
Fourth Official: Drew Klemp