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Sporting KC and Columbus split the points with 1-1 draw

Newcomer Cristian Lobato nets his first goal but SKC could not hold the lead

MLS: Sporting KC at Columbus Crew SC Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting Kansas City and Columbus Crew SC battled to 1-1 draw in the early Sunday match. Sporting KC’s mid-season signing Cristian Lobato gave the visitors the lead when Matt Besler played a quick restart almost perfectly.

Lobato was aided by Crew defender Jonathan Mensah’s misguided attempt to bicycle the ball out of danger. When Mensah missed his attempt the Spanish winger slid the ball past an onrushing Zach Steffen to give SKC the lead in the 19th minute.

Sporting KC maintained the lead until just before half. In stoppage time Columbus’ midfielder Pedro Santos took the corner kick. Crew forward Ola Kamara got a good push off on Ilie Sanchez and headed the ball point blank past Tim Melia to level it at half.

Neither team was willing to settle for a point and came out trying to seize control in the second half.

“We played well enough to get three points. I don’t think we managed the first half as well we should have. We gave them three corner kick where easily we should have done so much better with them,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes told reporters after the match.

Both teams came into the match needing points to maintain or improve their spots in their respective conferences but had to settle for a single point.