Coming off a loss on Saturday, Sporting Kansas City really wanted to get a result on the road at Real Salt Lake. It did turn out to be a game with a little bit of everything, especially if you are rooting for Salt Lake.
While the start was not perfect for the visitors, Sporting KC did jump out to a lead but the wheels fell off when Salt Lake countered with three goals in under 17 minutes, including one in stoppage time to go into the half down 3-1.
The initial goal for Sporting KC looked good when Roger Espinoza switched it to the left side to veteran Seth Sinovic. A quick cross into Daniel Salloi and Sporting Kansas City took the lead in the 20th minute.
Then the wheels came off. One by one.
In the 29th minute Salt Lake had a corner. The initial ball was stopped but with all eleven Sporting KC players in the box they were unable to safely clear the ball. A toe poke ended up on the foot of Jefferson Savarino who powered it into the Kansas City goal. Even with those issues Tim Melia may have stopped it but the ball skimmed off Ike Opara’s head to put it over Melia’s outstretched arms.
Seven minutes later a throw in is deflected to Corey Baird. With a runner in the box he was able to find the space to take the shot himself and RSL was up 2-1.
Stoppage time and a turnover gave the home side the chance to extend the lead and Sebastián Saucedo made a beautiful shot to get it past Melia and make it 3-1 at half.
SKC manager Peter Vermes took out Kuzain and inserted Johnny Russell on the wing, sliding Yohan Croizet back to the middle after the half. The second half looked to be better as Sporting KC started to set up their normal possession dominance and moving the ball better.
A sliding pass and collision from Roger Espinoza slid the ball to Russell who slid past his defender to thread a pass across the goal mouth to Ike Opara to narrow the deficit to one.
Real Salt Lake had the opportunity to bury Sporting KC when Espinoza was called for a foul in the box and a penalty given. Albert Rusnak stepped up and tried a Panenka. Melia easily stopped it but that was the last good news for SKC.
In the 90th minute Daniel Salloi received a straight red from Sorin Stoica for an arm to the face of his defender.
Sporting KC went down two men when Roger Espinoza received a second yellow and the required red in a collision with Nick Besler.
Bad almost went to tragic when Stoica pulled a red on Ilie Sanchez but put it back and gave him a yellow for a foul outside the box. Stoica also awarded a penalty for the foul outside the box and this time Melia was unable to save it as Luis Silva put the ball in the net to make the final score 4-2.
Sporting Kansas City returns home Saturday to face Toronto FC, another team looking to get on the right side of a losing streak.
Not that you want to watch, but here are the highlights.