Sporting KC and Minnesota United Walk Away At Evens

Sporting KC
KANSAS CITY, KS - JUNE 14: Sporting Kansas City defender Ike Opara (3) marks up against Minnesota United forward Abu Danladi (9) in the first half of a US Open Cup match between Minnesota United FC and Sporting Kansas City on June 14, 2017 at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, KS. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Minneapolis, Minn. (October 7, 2017)- Sporting KC and Minnesota United FC played to a 1-1 draw in Minnesota on Saturday night. The result does little to help either team in their respective playoff hunts. The result likely dooms Minnesota to miss the postseason.

Sporting KC and Minnesota United Walk Away At Evens

Minnesota United walked into their final home match of the 2017 season on a white hot streak of form that had some still believing in their playoff hopes. In came their regional rival, Sporting KC, to help cap off the home stretch of their inagural season.

Sporting KC started the match in flying form for the first ten minutes. They created a lot of half chances, but did look quite threatening. Then Minnesota took over for the next 20-30 minutes or so. Sporting KC is known for it’s defense for a reason though, and Minnesota could never really put together the final product.

Sporting KC found the breakthrough in first half stoppage time. A nice bit of combination play had Ilie Sanchez playing the ball to Latif Blessing at the top of the box. Diego Rubio was holding up the Minnesota defender, and had him turned for Blessing to slip him a pass. Rubio ran onto the pass and slammed it into the roof of the net to give Sporting KC a 1-0 halftime lead.

Minnesota United came out with guns blazing in the second half, and Sporting KC looking to stay strong and look to hit on the counter. The game got a little funky though when Tim Melia went down randomly off the ball with a cramp in his right leg. Andrew Dysktra came on in the 59th minute as the first Sporting goalkeeper NOT named Tim Melia this season.

Dykstra had done well for the first little bit, but ultimately, he, and Sporting succumbed to the Minnesota pressure.

The Loons knew they needed a goal to keep their season afloat, and in the 84th minute, they delivered. Brent Kallman met an Abu Danladi cross and Dykstra couldn’t get a strong enough hand to it. The 1-1 scoreline certainly looked like it could still change, and seven minutes of stoppage time helped that out quite a bit.

In the 90th minute, Warren Greenspan fouled Diego Rubio just at the edge of the box while already on a yellow card. While it was close to DOGSO, it was still a professional foul and worthy of his second yellow card. Sporting KC put together a seven minute flurry that left most baffled that they didn’t put one in the back of the net. The game ended 1-1 with each team sharing a point.

For Minnesota United, the result puts them at 36 points with only four matches left. They’re still six points behind the San Jose Earthquakes and FC Dallas. That means they’d have to win both games, and Dallas and San Jose would have to lose, for them to even be tied on points to get to the postseason. They’ll travel to Los Angeles and then the San Jose Earthquakes for their final two matches.

Sporting KC’s point puts them firmly in second place above Seattle and Portland, and keeps them within striking distance of Vancouver for first place. Sporting KC would have to beat Vancouver on points though, as they would lose on the first tie-breaker for positioning in the West. Their next match is October 11th, against the Houston Dynamo, in a makeup for their match rescheduled thanks to Hurricane Harvey.

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