Kansas City (June 3, 2017)- After losing a couple road matches in rather frustrating fashion, Sporting KC came home to Children’s Mercy park looking to keep their home unbeaten streak in tact. They came out with their foots on the throttle and came away with a deserved 3-0 win over Minnesota United.
Sporting KC Get Back on Track With Win Over Minnesota United
Afternoon kickoff times in June are never friendly, and can often make for a slow and methodical game. That wasn’t the case this time around. Sporting KC recorded 17 shot attempts in a one sided first half that saw them hold 60% of the possession. Five of those shots hit the target, and most were close enough to be somewhat troubling for Bobby Shuttleworth.
Sporting got on the board in first half stoppage time as Ike Opara pushed forward into the acres of space that Minnesota provided him. With the backline dropped off deep, Opara decided to have a go from 25-30 yards out. The shot either slightly deflected off of Jimmy Medranda, or went through his legs. Whatever happened, it was enough to throw off Bobby Shuttleworth, as the ball barely rose above knee-level and hit the back of the net. “All I was thinking about was putting it on frame,” said the defender.
Sporting backed off just a little bit in the second half, especially with Minnesota needing to get a goal. Sporting’s second goal came slightly against the run of play. Referee Jorge Gonzalez elected not to call a foul on Minnesota while virtually everyone around stopped. Blessing played it to Soony Saad who let go from the top of the box. His shot was technically in, but neither Gonzalez or his assistant saw it cross the line. Jimmy Medranda headed in the rebound making it a moot point, and a 2-0 scoreline.
Late into the second half, Sporting KC made some beautiful combination play along the right side of the eighteen. The ball made its way to the backpost for Saad Abdul-Salaam to tap in and round out the 3-0 scoreline.
Minnesota had one good chance around the 70th minute, but Tim Melia came up big to help preserve the clean sheet. Minnesota were also hindered by Miguel Ibarra’s injury that forced the winger off within the first ten minutes of the match.
What it Means, and What’s Next
The win moves Sporting into first place in the Western Conference at the moment. It could change with the rest of today’s matches, but as of now, they sit on top of the West. They take on Montreal next Saturday, Jun 10th at Children’s Mercy Park, with kickoff slated for 6pm.
Minnesota United don’t play again until June 14th, where they’ll come right back to Children’s Mercy Park for some U.S. Open Cup action against Sporting KC. They currently sit ninth in the West with 14 points.