Sporting Kansas City II were officially knocked out of the playoff race with their third consecutive loss against Saint Louis FC due to a Sam Fink header in stoppage time.
Just as the first team did hours before, Sporting KC II came back from 2-0 down to equalize at 2-2, only to surrender a third in the final minutes of the game.
Paulo Nagamura’s starting XI featured two surprises with Remi Prieur getting his second start of the season and Mason Leeth, who was thought to have been with the St. Louis University Billikens and hasn’t been named to the gameday roster in over a month, getting his first-ever professional start. In total, there were four changes with Tyler Freeman dropping into the midfield and Fredinho Mompremier joining the front three along with Prieur and Leeth entering the lineup.
Sporting II created some decent opportunities but weren’t able to capitalize as STL FC got first half goals from Tyler Blackwood and Russell Cicerone to give the hosts a 2-0 advantage at halftime.
Petar Cuic brought SKC II back into the game after his shot went through traffic and in off the post in the 59th minute. Substitute Isaiah LeFlore found the 2-2 equalizer in the 86th minute with a composed finish for his first professional goal. With both teams pushing for the winner, St. Louis was the team to get it after Sam Fink was left free to head the home side ahead in stoppage time.
SKC II will now end the rivalry with STL FC without any wins away and a total overall record of two wins, five draws, and six losses. Saturday’s loss for SKC II keeps them at the bottom of Group E with a record of 4-8-1. STL FC keep their playoff hopes well alive as they sit just one point back from the Indy Eleven with a record of 6-4-3.
It wasn’t a bad performance, but there was some sloppy defending that St. Louis capitalized on while SKC II missed a couple of opportunities that would have turned the game around. The second and third goals were especially poor defending, allowing Cicerone to cut by two defenders so easily and allowing Sam Fink a free header from six yards out must make the manager very annoyed. One of the positives was Isaiah LeFlore’s performance off the bench. The SKC Academy player had some big moments and scored the goal.
Sporting KC II will return to action when they make the trip to Texas for one final interconference match against Austin Bold FC on Tuesday before finishing up the season with matches against the Indy Eleven and Lou City FC. St. Louis FC will head to Indiana for an intriguing matchup against the Indy Eleven with just one point separating the two sides.
Full match highlights: