By Sam Kovzan –

Captain Johnny Russell and defender Jake Davis scored for Sporting Kansas City (2-6-5, 11 points) in a 3-2 road loss to Austin FC (6-4-4, 22 points) on Saturday night at Q2 Stadium.

Russell gave Sporting an early lead, tying Dom Dwyer for second in club history with 57 career MLS regular season goals. Austin responded with three straight goals — a Jader Obrian shot and a Sebastian Driussi header — before Davis set the stage for a dramatic finish with a 22-yard firework midway through the second half. Sporting midfielder Erik Thommy was then denied by the crossbar in the 90th minute, thwarting an admirable comeback bid and condemning SKC to a fourth successive league defeat.

Manager Peter Vermes made three changes to Sporting’s line-up from last weekend’s 2-1 loss to Houston Dynamo FC. Left back Zorhan Bassong earned his first MLS start since February 2022, center back Robert Castellanos recorded his first league start since June 2023 and midfielder Erik Thommy returned to the squad after missing the game against Houston due to childbirth his first. Between the posts, veteran goalkeeper Tim Melia notably played his 250th career MLS regular season game, becoming the fifth active goalkeeper to accomplish the feat.

Russell sparked a strong start for Sporting within 30 seconds of kick-off, winning a tackle near midfield and bursting towards goal before dragging a breakaway shot under pressure wide of the near post. His striker Daniel Salloi recorded his 65th consecutive regular-season appearance on Saturday – now the fourth-longest streak in Sporting’s history – and produced a fine display soon after, rising to a challenge and unleashing a low drive from the top of the box that narrowly missed. the sign.

Going into the night on a four-match home winning streak, the hosts thought they had taken the lead after five minutes. In a flowing attack in the attacking third, midfielder Sebastian Driussi found Zan Kolmanic in the overlap before a cut ball deflected into the path of Dani Pereira, who struck first time into the left corner. However, VAR prompted referee Sergii Boiko to take a second look at the play and the goal was rightly disallowed for an offside offense on Austin winger Jader Obrian in the build-up.

An entertaining game ebbed and flowed despite temperatures hovering near 90 degrees, and Sporting were rewarded for their attacking goal in the 19th minute. Midfielder Memo Rodriguez clipped a clever ball over the top for striker Alan Pulido, who created space against his defender and laid a pass to the feet of a running Russell, who expertly drilled inside the near post from 12 yards for his first goal. 2024 campaign. Pulido recorded his first assist of the year, while Rodriguez was credited with a secondary assist and increased his team-high to four assists this season.

Thommy almost doubled Sporting’s advantage in the 23rd minute when his blast from the edge of the area deflected just over the crossbar. Austin responded with a good look at the opposite end, but Castellanos crawled down and stuck out his leg for a superb block to deny Driuss in the corner of the six-yard box.

A costly gift from Sporting allowed Austin to restore parity at 1-1 in the 28th minute. Melia’s pass was picked out at the top of the box by Pereira, who flicked the ball to O’Brien for a deadly finish near the post. Austin’s Colombian winger scored his second goal of the game 11 minutes later, connecting with Pereira’s cross from the right channel and cutting onto his left foot before finding the bottom corner to put Austin past 2-1 advantage.

Sporting closed the half on the front foot with Thommy seeing a brave volley blocked by Pereira, centre-back Andreu Fontas glancing agonizingly wide from a Rodriguez corner and Salloi forcing a save from goalkeeper Brad Stuver before the timeout whistle blew.

Austin forward Gyasi Zardes came on as a first-half substitute, replacing former Sporting striker Diego Rubio, and made an immediate impact, delivering a right-wing cross for Driuss to head into the corner of the net. for his team-leading fifth goal of the year. . The 46th minute hammerer put Sporting up 3-1 against a young Austin side that has scored 17 of its 19 goals at home this season.

Zardes almost went from provider to scorer on the hour mark, latching on to a diagonal ball only to see his tireless effort bounce off the woodwork and allow Fontas and Melia to snuff out the danger.

Davis halved Sporting’s deficit with a spectacular 25-yard bomb in the 63rd minute. The home right-back was given space from distance and sent a right-footed lob into the roof of the net past a helpless Stuver for his second goal of the season – both coming from outside the area. Sporting leads MLS with six goals from outside the box this year, accounting for 29% of the club’s goals in 2024.

The visitors could have conceded a fourth goal in the 82nd minute when Austin won a free-kick, but Melia rightly pushed away Driussi’s effort to keep it 3-2. Melia has saved 16 regular-season penalties since becoming SKC’s starting goalkeeper in 2015, the most in MLS during that time.

Verme’s men applied considerable pressure on the dying embers and went agonizingly close to leveling in the final minute of normal time, but Thommy’s curling effort from 18 yards hit the bar and then went wide.

Sporting faces a quick turnaround by hosting USL Championship side FC Tulsa in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Round of 16 on Tuesday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 pm CT with tickets available at and a live stream

2024 MLS Regular Season | Game 13
Stadium Q2 | Austin, Texas
Attendees: 20,738
Weather: 89 degrees and sunny

Sporting Kansas City 2-3 Austin FC

outcome 1 2 F
Sporting Kansas City (2-6-5) 1 1 2
Austin FC (6-4-4) 2 1 3

Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Jake Davis, Robert Castellanos, Andreu Fontas, Zorhan Bassong; Nemanja Radoja, Memo Rodriguez, Erik Thommy; Johnny Russell (C) (Stephen Afrifa 83′), Alan Pulido (Willy Agada 63′), Daniel Salloi (Marinos Tzionis 63′)

Unused subscriptions: John Pulskamp, ​​Tim Leibold, Robert Voloder, Felipe Hernandez, Khiry Shelton, Alenis Vargas

Austin FC: Brad Stover; Jon Gallagher, Julio Cascante (Leo Vaisanen 46′), Brendan Hines-Ike, Zan Kolmanic; Dani Pereira, Jhojan Valencia; Jader Obrian (Ethan Finlay 65′), Sebastian Driussi (C) (Matt Hedges 86′), Owen Wolff (Alex Ring 71′); Diego Rubio (Gyasi Zardes 46′)

Unused subscriptions: Stefan Cleveland, Hector Jimenez, CJ Fodrey, Emiliano Rigoni, Gyasi Zardes

Summary of points:
SKC — Johnny Russell 1 (Alan Pulido 1, Memo Rodriguez 4) 19′
ATX – Jader Obrian 3 (Dani Pereira 1) 28′
ATX — Jader Obrian 4 (Dani Pereira 2, Jhojan Valencia 1) 39′
ATX — Sebastian Driussi 5 (Gyasi Zardes 2) 46′
SKC — Jake Davis 2 (Erik Thommy 1) 63′

Summary of misconduct:
ATX — Julio Cascante (yellow card, unsportsmanlike conduct) 23′
ATX — Brendan Hines-Ike (yellow card, dissent) 70′
SKC — Andreu Fontas (yellow card, disagreement) 88′
ATX — Dani Pereira (yellow card; simulation) 89′
ATX – Jhojan Valencia (yellow card, unsportsmanlike conduct) 90′
SKC — Nemanja Radoja (yellow card, dissent) 90+4′

Match statistics

Statistics SKC ATX
strikes 12 7
Offsides 4 6
Corner kick 5 7

Referee: Sergii Boiko
Assistant referee: Jason White
Assistant referee: Nicholas Balcer
Fourth official: Sergii Demianchuk
VAR: Sorin Stoica
AVAR: Ian McKay

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here