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Sporting KC extends winless streak with loss in Minnesota

Mistakes doom SKC to seventh straight defeat



Losing is not easy on anyone | Credit: Thad Bell

Sporting Kansas City fell 3-1 to Minnesota United FC Saturday night. In MLS play, Kansas City is now winless in ten matches with seven straight defeats. The last league win was in Toronto on March 31st. Sporting KC has won their last two U.S. Open Cup games.

Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes made a few changes after the loss at home against the Vancouver Whitecaps. Tired legs from five games in fifteen days may have played a large part in the rotation but some of it was “Manager’s choice”. Memo Rodriguez returned to the starting midfield after being suspended for card accumulation. The normal starting front line began the game on the bench for the second straight match. Marinos Tzionis started on the left, Wily Agada at center forward and Alenis Vargas on the right. Tim Melia got the nod in goal after John Pulskamp played Wednesday.

Minnesota was the better side through most of the first half but Sporting KC managed to hold their own for the first half hour. SKC’s best opportunity came when Vargas was pulled down right on the edge of the box. The resulting free kick was not on the frame.

The home side took control in the 33rd minute when Tanitoluwa Oluwaseyi, Minnesota’s leader scorer, added to his total. Bongokuhle Hlongwane took the ball wide before whipping a cross through SKC’s box. Oluwaseyi was making the back post run with Jake Davis tracking him. Oluwaseyi pulled up. created a little space and was open to head the ball back past Tim Melia.

Minnesota took the lead and momentum into half.

Vermes subbed out Tzionis and brought in Johnny Russel to start the second half. Sporting KC came out with some energy and looked like they were starting to gain confidence and a hint of momentum through the early minutes. That changed a few minutes after Robin Lod checked into the match.

In the 67th minute, Oluwaseyi took the playmaker role and fed Finnish star Robin Lod for a goal to double the lead. Lod broke straight down the middle of the field unmarked. Lod easily connected and blasted one right down the middle of Kansas City’s goal.

Minnesota took a big step at putting the game out of reach in the 83rd minute. A cross into the area was headed away by Khiry Shelton but it went directly to  Kervin Arriaga on the far side of the box. The Honduran midfielder had enough time to bring the ball down before powering a shot from a narrow angle past Melia to make it 3-0.

Sporting KC made an effort to fight back. SKC Captain Russell received the ball near the center circle and dribbled towards the goal. He unloaded a shot from approximately 25 yards away from goal that rocketed past Dayne St. Clair for a consolation goal.

The game ended 3-1 but not without a little bit of extra curricular activity before the final whistle.

On a bright note, former Sporting KC and Minnesota United defender Ike Opara was recognized at half time. Opara was in Minnesota as an assistant coach with SKC II who will face Minnesota United 2 Sunday evening.

Losing feels lonely | Credit: Thad Bell

Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Jake Davis (Khiry Shelton 75’), Dany Rosero (Robert Voloder 71’), Robert Castellanos, Zorhan Bassong; Nemanja Radoja (C) (Alan Pulido 62’), Felipe Hernandez, Memo Rodriguez; Alenis Vargas (Daniel Salloi 62’), Willy Agada, Marinos Tzionis (Johnny Russell 46’)

Subs Not Used: John Pulskamp, Andreu Fontas, Tim Leibold, Stephen Afrifa

Minnesota United FC: Dayne St. Clair; DJ Taylor (Joseph Rosales 43’), Kervin Arriaga, Michael Boxall (C), Miguel Tapias, Devin Padelford (Jordan Adebayo-Smith 81’); Carlos Harvey (Hassani Dotson 62’), Wil Trapp; Sang Bin Jeong, Tanitoluwa Oluwaseyi (Teemu Puuki 80’), Bongokuhle Hlongwane (Robin Lod 62’)

Subs Not Used: Clint Irwin, Victor Eriksson, Zarek Valentin

Scoring Summary:
MIN – Tanitoluwa Oluwaseyi 7 (Bongokuhle Hlongwane 1, DJ Taylor 2) 33’
MIN – Robin Lod 5 (Tanitoluwa Oluwaseyi 4, Devin Padelford 1) 67’
MIN – Kervin Arriaga 3 (Unassisted) 83’
SKC – Johnny Russell 2 (Unassisted) 86’

Misconduct Summary:
MIN – Devin Padelford (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 16’
MIN – Carlos Harvey (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 25’
SKC – Nemanja Radoja (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 32’
MIN – Tanitoluwa Oluwaseyi (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 64’
MIN – Joseph Rosales (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 88’

Shots 11 12
Shots on Goal 1 7
Saves 4 0
Fouls 16 15
Offsides 4 3
Corner Kicks 4 4

Referee: Joe Dickerson
Assistant Referee: Adam Garner
Assistant Referee: Mike Nickerson
Fourth Official: Eric Tattersall
VAR: Greg Dopka
AVAR: Jonathan Johnson

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