Sporting Kansas City II

Recap: Sporting KC II claims wild 3-2 win at Memphis 901 FC

Playing their fourth match in 11 days, Sporting Kansas City II (2-6-4, 10 points) claimed a resolute 3-2 victory over Memphis 901 FC (2-4-2, 8 points) on Saturday night at AutoZone Park in Memphis, Tennessee. Rojay Smith, Enoch Mushagalusa and Danny Barbir were among the goal scorers in the five-goal slugfest as head coach Paulo Nagamura’s side emerged victorious in the Music City.

Smith lifted Sporting KC II into a 1-0 lead after just eight minutes, playing an intricate one-two with Grayson Barber on the left edge of the box before swiveling and firing a brilliant strike into the roof of the net. The in-form rookie has three goals this month and his wonderfully taken effort on Saturday gave the visitors a lead to protect at halftime.

Nagamura’s men doubled their advantage in the 55th minute. After Memphis failed to clear a set piece, defender Matt Constant looped a hopeful cross into the crowded penalty area. Mushagalusa was on hand to win possession near the penalty spot and hammer a blistering shot high into the net. The 21-year-old forward has scored all of his team-leading four goals over the last four matches, having struck twice in a 2-2 draw against Atlanta United 2 on June 9 and once in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Indy Eleven.

Memphis punched back with a pair of goals in the 58th and 64th minutes. The first saw substitute Kyle Murphy finish low past goalkeeper Brooks Thompson off a feed from Memphis captain Leston Paul. Murphy went from scorer to provider on the equalizer, barreling forward and spreading the ball left to Kadeem Dacres, who picked out the far left corner with a turf-trimming laser for his second tally of the 2021 campaign.

The last laugh, however, belonged to Sporting KC II. With 72 minutes on the clock, shortly after Dacres hit the post with a long-range piledriver, substitute Jake Davis lifted a lovely cross into the mixer where Barbir rose above the rest to plant a powerful header past Memphis goalkeeper Brady Scott.

Barbir’s goal would stand as the match winner, thanks in part to a strong performance down the stretch from Thompson, who finished the night with six saves.

Sporting KC II will look to continue their winning ways on Friday when they return home to Children’s Mercy Park for a meeting with Central Division leaders Louisville City FC. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT and the game will stream live on ESPN Plus.

2021 USL Championship
Match 12 of 34

AutoZone Park | Memphis, Tennessee
Weather: Sunny and 88 degrees

Sporting KC II 3-2 Memphis 901 FC
Sporting KC II 3-2 Memphis 901 FC
Sporting KC II (2-6-4, 10 points)
Memphis 901 FC (2-4-2, 8 points)

Sporting Kansas City II: Brooks Thompson; Kayden Pierre, Matt Constant, Graham Smith, Danny Barbir; Petar Cuic, Christian Duke (C), Bailey Sparks (Jake Davis 61'); Grayson Barber, Enoch Mushagalusa (Aljaz Dzankic 74'), Rojay Smith (Dominik Resetar 87')Subs Not Used: Max Trejo, Isaiah LeFlore, Jahon Rad, Tyler Freeman

Memphis 901 FC: Brady Scott; Mark Segbers, Raul Gonzalez (Andre Reynolds 77'), Zach Carroll, Skylar Thomas (Brecc Evans 15'); Mitch Guitar (Francis Atuahene 77'), Leston Paul (C), Kadeem Dacres; Laurent Kissiedou, Dominic Oduro (Kyle Murphy 46'), Michael Salazar
Subs Not Used: Jake Gelnovatch, Rashawn Dally, Andre Fortune

Scoring Summary:
SKC -- Rojay Smith 3 (Grayson Barber 2) 8'
SKC -- Enoch Mushagalusa 4 (Matt Constant 1) 55'
MEM -- Kyle Murphy 2 (Leston Paul 1) 58'
MEM -- Kadeem Dacres 2 (Kyle Murphy 1) 64'
SKC -- Danny Barbir 1 (Jake Davis 2) 72'

Misconduct Summary:
MEM -- Kadeem Dacres (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 32’
SKC -- Graham Smith (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 39'
SKC -- Enoch Mushagalusa (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 43'
MEM -- Laurent Kissiedou (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 48'
MEM -- Zach Carroll (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 52'
SKC -- Petar Cuic (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 60'
SKC -- Danny Barbir (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 88'
SKC -- Aljaz Dzankic (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 90+6'

Match Statistics
Match Statistics
Shots on Goal
Corner Kicks

Referee: J.J. Bilinksi*
Assistant Referee:
* Matthew Rodman
Assistant Referee: Zachary McWhorter*
Fourth Official:
* Benjamin Meyer