Kansas City, Kansas (March 10, 2019) — Sporting Kansas City took care of the Philadelphia Union in their 2019 Home MLS opener. Ilie Sanchez finished his penalty kick expertly, while goalkeeper Tim Melia stepped up big to save a Union penalty as well.
Sporting KC Defeat Philadelphia Union in 2019 Home Opener
It was business as usual for Sporting KC in their home MLS opener for the season. The big storyline before the match was the inclusion of 16-year-old Gianluca Busio in Sporting KC’s starting XI. He was in the middle of the action right from the kickoff.
In the 9th minute, Auston Trusty bundled Busio over inside the 18-yard box well after any danger for the Union was gone. Ilie Sanchez stepped up and buried the penalty to give Sporting a 1-0 lead.
The Union pushed back though and had a few chances of their own. In the 39th minute, VAR judged Seth Sinovic to have handled the ball inside the 18-yard box and awarded Philadelphia a penalty kick. MLS newcomer Marco Fabian stepped up but Tim Melia denied him.
Melia’s penalty kick save was his eighth since joining Sporting KC in 2015. It’s the most in the league in that time span.
After coming out of halftime with the score 1-0, the Union had a few chances but it seemed like Sporting were in control the whole way. In the 60th minute, Marco Fabian stomped down on Johnny Russell who had slid underneath him for a challenge. Penso went to VAR and gave Fabian a straight red card.
Sporting KC finished off the game as Jack Elliott accidentally turned the ball into his own net off a Gerso cross. The final score ended that way at 2-0.