Connect with us

Sporting KC

Pulido bags brace in 2-1 Sporting KC win over St. Louis

A beautiful night at Children’s Mercy Park saw Sporting KC defeat first-placed rivals St. Louis City SC by a final score of 2-1.



Credit: Thad Bell

The Capital Cup. The Heartland Derby. Call it what you want… it was a beautiful night of soccer. Children’s Mercy Park came alive for the second ever installment of the KC/STL rivalry as Sporting KC took down first place St. Louis City SC by a final score of 2-1.

Alan Pulido was Man of the Match with two goals. But both goals, and the match as a whole, were fantastic team efforts for SKC. These final seven matches of the MLS regular season are going to be a fight. But Sporting KC are ready for it.

The first real chance of the game came in the 13th minute. Logan Ndenbe was taken down for what looked to be a penalty kick. But after the shortest VAR check that has ever been checked, the referee deemed the foul to have occurred just outside the box. Erik Thommy stepped up with a laser of a shot that was parried away by Roman Bürki. Russell followed up with a second chance but the ball was eventually cleared away.

St. Louis opened the scoring with a painful homage to the last time these teams met. Felipe Gutierrez was taken down and the visitors quickly attacked after the no-call. The big man up front for STL, Samuel Adeniran, was all by himself on the counter. But he needed no help. Adeniran used every ounce of his 6’5″ frame to drive a powerful shot into the side netting for the 1-0 lead.

But it was only nine minutes later Sporting KC would get back on level terms. Erik Thommy got the ball at the top of the box and was swarmed by red (or pink or whatever they are) jerseys. The German lofted it over to Daniel Salloi who fired it across the six yard box. Pulido was there to tap home the equalizer.

Children’s Mercy Park was absolutely bouncing. The rival supporters were battling on opposite sides of the stadium like student sections at a high school basketball game. The players could feel it as the action on the field mirrored the exciting playoff atmosphere in the stands. The counter attacking style of play from St. Louis meant the ball was up and down the pitch all night.

The decisive goal came in the 44th minute. It was clever combination play with Thommy that sent Jake Davis down the sideline. He split the defenders and made his way into the box before dropping it off for an easy finish from Pulido.

Center referee Alan Chapman was noticeably letting the rivalry match get physical. Fans of both teams chanted “Ref you suck” at some point in the night. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but it means something.

SKC Manager Peter Vermes even praised him after the match.

“I actually think Alan Chapman did an excellent job,” he said. “He let things go on both sides.”

Yellow cards finally started to come out in the second half and tempers remained in check for the most part.

St. Louis and their strong traveling support thought they had equalized early in the second half, but Adeniran was called offside by the slimmest of margins.

A wild moment in the 73rd minute should have seen Sporting double their lead, but Bürki was able to make a double save on Daniel Salloi. Thommy had played him in with an absolutely gorgeous ball, but it looked like Salloi had too much time to think.

As a unit, Sporting KC did very well to close out this gritty win against such a pesky team. This makes it six points from the first two games out of the Leagues Cup break, and an incredible start to the playoff push.

Next up is a Lionel Messi-less Inter Miami on Saturday in Ft. Lauderdale. Miami will also be without several of their starters due to international call ups.

Recent Comments

KC Soccer Journal in your Inbox!

Be the first to know when news breaks, sign up to get all of our posts sent directly to your inbox.


Follow us on Twitter