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Sporting KC falls 2-1 in Colorado

Another late heartbreaker for SKC



Johnny Russell scored | Credit: Thad Bell

Sporting Kansas City took a lead in the second half but could not keep the Colorado Rapids scoreless. A set-piece goal and a stoppage-time penalty were all the home team needed for the 2-1 win over a struggling Kansas City.

Manager Peter Vermes made two changes from the starting lineup that earned a 2-0 win over Austin FC in Kansas City over the weekend. Zorhan Bassong started at left back in place of Tim Leibold and Willy Agada came in for Alan Pulido at striker. Sporting KC is trying to manage seven games over twenty-two days with one of them being the U.S. Open Cup Quarter-Final match against FC Dallas next Wednesday.

Colorado dominated possession in the first half, especially early when Sporting KC barely made it out of their own end for the first ten-plus minutes. Both teams had clear chances in the opponent’s box but shot it wide. Russell had a good opportunity when he almost chipped Zack Steffen.

The half ended scoreless, but that would not last long after the break.

Vermes brought three subs off the bench at halftime. Pulido and Leibold replaced their counterparts and Daniel Salloi came on for Marinos Tzionis. Salloi made his first appearance since June 8th when he subbed off against Seattle.

The substitutions did not take long to provide a boost to Sporting KC. All three were part of the buildup that led to the visitors striking first. Several passes led to Leibold crossing the ball toward Erik Thommy. The German attacker scuffed the shot but the ball went right to SKC’s Captain. Russell one-timed it back across the box and past a scrambling Zack Steffen in the 48th minute.

Vermes was pleased with how the halftime changes made an impact. “I thought that we were good, I thought we got some possession. We moved the ball pretty well. I thought that all of a sudden, we started to get to them, especially on the outside, especially down the left, which was good. Eventually, we get our goal which is a very good goal.”

Sporting KC kept the lead for twenty minutes before one of Colorado’s substitutions made the difference. Jake Davis fouled Sam Vines giving Colorado a free-kick a few yards out from the corner of the box. Djordje Mihailovic dropped the ball right on the penalty spot. Oliver Larraz was marked initially but his defender was blocked, allowing the homegrown midfielder to slip by and be ready for a free header. Larraz headed the ball down into the corner and out of reach of Tim Melia to level the score in the 69th minute.

With time running out, SKC was holding on to earn a point until Darren Yapi earned the Rapids a penalty. Yapi is played the ball by Mihailovic giving the young defdner an opportunity to turn into the box. Yapi took a heavy touch but Melia was already coming out for the ball. Melia and Yap collided and referee Sergii Boiko did not hesitate to point to the spot for a penalty.

Djordje Mihailovic was the lead character for Colorado most of the match and he did not disappoint in stoppage time.  Melia is known for his ability to block penalty kicks. He came close, going the right direction but Mihailovic’s well placed shot found the net to take all three points for Colorado.


Sporting KC will not have much time to rest as they return to face FC Dallas twice in quick succession. Sunday in MLS play and Wednesday in the Open Cup Quarterfinals.


Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Kayden Pierre, Dany Rosero, Robert Voloder, Zorhan Bassong (Tim Leibold 46’); Nemanja Radoja, Jake Davis (Memo Rodriguez 82’), Erik Thommy; Johnny Russell (C) (Khiry Shelton 70’), Willy Agada (Alan Pulido 46’), Marinos Tzionis (Daniel Salloi 46’)

Subs Not Used: John Pulskamp, Andreu Fontas, Stephen Afrifa, Alenis Vargas

Colorado Rapids: Zack Steffen; Keegan Rosenberry (C), Lalas Abubakar (Darren Yapi 86’), Andreas Maxso, Sam Vines; Connor Ronan, Cole Bassett, Calvin Harris (Oliver Larraz 57’), Djordje Mihailovic, Omir Fernandez (Jonathan Lewis 69’); Rafael Navarro

Subs Not Used: Adam Beaudry, Sebastian Anderson, Michael Edwards, Jasper Loffelsend

Scoring Summary:
SKC – Johnny Russell 4 (Erik Thommy 3, Tim Leibold 2) 48’
COL – Oliver Larraz 1 (Djordje Mihailovic 9) 69’
COL – Djordje Mihailovic 10 (Penalty Kick) 94+

Misconduct Summary:
COL – Calvin Harris (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 54’
SKC – Nemanja Radoja (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 73’
COL – Djordje Mihailovic (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 87’
SKC – Tim Melia (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 93+

Match Statistics
Shots on Goal
Corner Kicks

Referee: Sergii Boiko
Assistant Referee: Jose Da Silva
Assistant Referee: Ben Pilgrim
Fourth Official: Matthew Thompson
VAR: Sorin Stoica
AVAR: Mike Kampmeinert

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