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Sporting KC II Win Home Finale

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Ozzie Cisneros’ goal leads Kansas City to victory.

Sporting KC II (5-17-8) closed out the home portion of their 2021 season with a 1-0 win over Atlanta United (7-13-10) on Wednesday night at Children’s Mercy Park.

The early going to the game set the tone for what turned into a very open game. Just four minutes in, Enoch Mushagalusa was played in behind Atlanta’s defense but his shot was right at Vicente Reyes, who smothered the shot. Kansas City continued to have the better of the play and creating the better chances but lacked the finishing touch. Mataeo Bunbury had a chance go just wide, while Jake Davis came within inches of scoring his third goal from outside the box in two games as he hit the cross bar in the 19th minute.

The half saw the teams going up and down the field but the final ball from both teams was lacking. The best chance of the whole half came in the 37th minute when Matias Benitez got on the end of a cross and put a header on frame, but John Pulskamp was well positioned and made the save.

The second half continued to be an open affair between the two teams, with Atlanta being the more aggressive side with Robbie Mertz putting a shot just wide of goal in the 54th minute after looking for space along the top of KC’s box. Later Pulskamp was again called into action after a turnover in KC’s defensive third, making himself big to get a leg on a shot.

KC’s best chance up to that point in the second half came in the 60th minute when Davis played Mushagalusa in behind the Atlanta defense. Mushagalusa got a powerful shot off to the near post, but Reyes got his left hand up to knock the ball out for a corner.

The break through for KC came nine minutes later when Mushagalusa split a couple of Atlanta defenders with a pass to Ozzie Cisneros who dribbled into the box before shooting to the far post to beat Reyes and put KC on top.

After the goal the game continued to open up as Atlanta pushed more numbers forward and Pulskamp was again called upon to make a couple of big saves, the biggest coming in the 74th off an Atlanta free kick. He saved the first shot and was able to react quickly, throwing himself in front of the rebound to throw off the attempt by Phillip Goodrum. Pulskamp, Graham Smith, and the rest of the Sporting KC II defense held strong the rest of the way earning the shutout and the win that also eliminated Atlanta from the USL Championship playoff race.