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Sporting KC Defeat FC Dallas in a Feisty Affair

Two games in four days against FC Dallas. Kansas City win the first one, but it ended in a fiery series of fouls.

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Credit: Thad Bell

Sporting Kansas City returned to action just three days after hitting the road to face the Colorado Rapids on Independence Day in a 2-1 defeat. It’s the second game in a stretch of five in a mere 14 days. With that in mind, significant changes popped up in the lineup with seven new starters: Alan Pulido, Andreu Fontas, Memo Rodriguez, Daniel Salloi, Tim Leibold, Robert Castellanos and Alenis Vargas. Also, they moved back into a 4-2-3-1, with Pulido underneath Agada.

Dallas, also likely trying to not show their hand before Wednesday’s critical US Open Cup match, rotated heavily as well.

First Half

The game started pretty herky-jerky, as is to be expected with this much rotation. Jake Davis had an early giveaway just outside his own 18-yard-box, but he got bailed out. The back-and-forth nature of the game led to a corner in the 11th minute that would open the scoring for Sporting KC. Memo delivered a perfect ball and Willy Agada rose up and headed it home to make it 1-0!

Shortly after Dallas got out on a counterattack and forced Castellanos to drag down his attacker in a smart tactical foul to avoid leaving them one on one with Fontas. Yellow card to Casti. Shortly after Kayden Pierre was headed on a counter of his own and had his heels clipped. No card, but a foul was given. Overall, the ref was letting them play in a game that would get very physical.

In the 23rd minute, Sporting KC would double their lead! An attack looked like it had fizzled when a well worked progression went wide to Vargas who got the ball caught in his feet, but he clipped a ball in and once again, found the head of Agada to make it 2-0!

Moments later, Salloi nearly made it three to nil. Salloi absolutely broke the ankles of Twumasi and streaked up the sideline only to rattle the crossbar with his shot.

In the 30th minute, Dallas would pull one back. Agada had a bad giveaway in the midfield where he seemingly didn’t see the onrushing Bernard Kamungo whom he passed the ball directly to. The defense intervened but an unlucky flick by Davis landed right in the path of Logan Farrington whose scuffed shot bounced over Melia and Kamungo crashed in to somehow get the ball in the net. 2-1.

In the 42nd minute, Sporting nearly pulled one back with a turnover in the midfield that found Pulido’s boot, but it drifted just over the bar. A minute later, Vargas and Pierre had a beautiful interchange on the right side of the attack before KP dribbled the entire Dallas defense and placed the ball just wide of the post.

Three minutes of stoppage time was added, and Kansas City had a few promising build ups that ultimately led to no goals. On the edge of halftime, Salloi was absolutely crushed outside the box, but referee Natalie Simon correctly played advantage and Agada got off a shot that Maarten Paes easily saved. It looked like she was going to give a card but instead she let Dallas play a quick counter while she checked on the downed forward.

Second Half

Sporting KC made no changes at the half, but Sebastian Lletget subbed on for Dallas, replacing Tomas Pondeca.

The first scary moment for KC came in the 49th minute when a well-placed ball split the defenders, but the offside flag went up, and the defense dealt with it anyways. Just a minute later a simple ball over the top to Kamungo had him blowing by Fontas, only for Melia to make the save. Immediately after SKC had a giveaway in their defensive third but Melia again gobbled up a heavy pass from Dallas.

KC swung a little control their way but couldn’t make anything of it. In the 56th minute, Dallas went for it with a triple sub bringing on Petar Musa, Asier Illarramendi and Paul Arriola. Right after, Salloi came off for Stephen Afrifa, Leibold was removed for Zorhan Bassong and Pulido came off for Erik Thommy.

After an immediate miscommunication from Bassong and Afrifa, KC came flying the other way with a beautiful Memo through ball to Vargas. Unfortunately, he made one too many moves before finding a wide-open Thommy and the defense closed in to snuff out the attack. From here the game hit a frenetic pace. Interceptions. Scrambles. Counters. Turnovers.

Dallas would be the first to make anyone pay. Sporting KC played an impossibly high line and Dallas easily got in behind to level it. 2-2.

Right after, Shelton would replace KP at right back. Minutes later, Agada was denied a THIRD header goal by an outstretched paw of Paes to send it out for a corner. During the corner, Johnny Russell subbed on for Vargas in the 70th minute.

The game lost some rhythm with all the subs, but if anyone had the better of it, Dallas did. They even had a handball shout but after a short review, the goal kick was taken and play continued.

In the 81st minute, the ball bounced right for SKC. A nice cross was put into the box and Agada’s shot was blocked but Memo Rodriguez put his laces through the ball into the side netting to put KC ahead.

In the 88th minute, Agada once again came up short of a hat trick. Bassong stole the ball and played a perfect through ball to Agada who tried to beat the keeper instead of passing to Afrifa and Paes again made the stop.

From there, it was pure chaos. Zorhan Bassong and Paul Arriola got into it in the corner and Bassong was red carded and Arriola given a yellow.

From there, SKC just kept earning corners, throws and fouls to kill off the game to win 3-2. Dallas play KC again on Wednesday in what should be a heated US Open Cup quarterfinal.

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Jake

An absolutely incredible goal by Memo.

Mister Murse

Pulido had 2 chances within five minutes to bury the game and he didn’t shoot off his left foot. I’m tired of the excuses for him.

For a solid 20+ minutes we looked like we were playing for the tie/loss. No urgency to play the ball or throw it in, or look forward. The difference? Agada, thommy, Davis, and Memo never gave up. Bassong got the crowd back in the game to close out.

Wes

$3.6 million prima donna looking for the ref to save him constantly, I don’t really want him on the pitch but he’s paid too much to leave on the bench

Shawn

Holy cow… We did it!!! That goal by Memo was money! That deserves goal of the match IMO.

It was nice to see a win! Couldnt believe Agada gave up that pass. Not sure why but this game showed me that Tim M. needs to be done after this season. I think the two goals Tim could of done much better on.

K. Pierre is exciting to watch. Glad he is getting in form,

Congrats SKC on the win.

A&W

Not a great holiday weekend for referees around the world

David in the chat

The Bassong/Arriola thing was a mess. Yellow to both or red to both.

Mr Pithetahead

Yeah, that was just stupid all around. Here are all the possible infractions in that one sequence. Bussong falls to respect the required distance on a restart (yellow), delays the restart of play (yellow), and did it in a blatant manner that was sure to upset Arriola (no card, but tacky and unprofessional). Arriola then strikes Bussong in the face with the ball (red unless you somehow believe that it was accidental). Then Bussong rushes at Arriola and pushes him over (yellow for unsporting behavior/retaliation or red for violent conduct, with my preference being yellow). Arriola then falls over as if a linebacker hits him and holds his face (yellow for simulation). So there were plenty of options to pick by the referee.
Ultimately (and this is easy to say in hindsight), a little proactive refereeing might have stopped the situation from escalating. The minute she saw Bussong try to block the throw in, she could have run towards the situation while calling, “Back up!” Follow that almost immediately by a whistle and another warning, and it might have stopped the situation. Again, that’s the ideal, but it’s tricky to do. Refereeing is hard, doubly so when the players decide to be idiots.

Mister Murse

That moment was a culmination of inconsistent calls and a lack of game control.

That being said….. God I am so happy one of our players refused to be walked over while whinging to the ref.

I loved the atmosphere change after he knocked arriola on his ass. I miss the “take no shit” sporting.

Don’t love the red. But damn we at least showed fight.

kcrews123

In a season that’s had absolutely no fight/fire, I think a lot of people were fired up to see more than arms waving while talking to the ref (myself included).

Yeah it was dumb on Bassong’s part (maybe do something that’ll just get you a yellow) but I don’t even care. Someone finally did….something

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