Sporting Kansas City has returned to form with a 2-0 win at Los Angeles FC Saturday night. A goal by Gerso, a penalty put home by Ilie and a combined team shutout gave Sporting KC their second straight road shutout win and bumped them back up the standings in the Western Conference.
It was not easy and it was not supposed to be easy. LAFC had never lost in their beautiful new Banc of California Stadium and are loaded with attacking talent, including two former SKC players.
Sporting Kansas City jumped to a lead in the 17th minute when the team forced a turnover near midfield. Diego Rubio dribbled at the defense and slid the ball Gerso Fernandes as he streaked into the top of the box. Gerso slid the ball far post past the helpless LAFC keeper Luis Lopez.
The goal spurred Sporting KC on and they began to control more of the match as they played with confidence, creating several more chances.
Early in the second half Felipe Gutierrez tried to head a rebound that Lopez gave up fro ma Daniel Salloi shot. Gutierrez was kicked in the head by Dejan Jakovic and Sporting KC was awarded a penalty kick.
Ismail Elfath quickly pointed at the spot and issued a yellow to Jakovic. After a quick VAR check, Elfath confirmed his call and Ilie Sanchez stepped up to take the kick. Lopez guessed wrong and Ilie easily put the ball inside the post to double the lead to 2-0.
“When we have our full complement, or I should say close to our full complement available to us, we’re a different group,” Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes told The Blue Testament. “It was good to see our timing and the way we played.”