Sporting Kansas City returned home after a triumphant win over the Western Conference leading Seattle Sounders. The home team welcomed FC Dallas to town for the first meeting between the clubs in 2021. Sporting would have a chance to take the Western Conference lead with Seattle faltering again early in the night, but it wasn’t meant to be.
The lineup was the same as the one that beat the Sounders in terms of starters, but Cameron Duke’s questionable status turned into an ‘out’ and he was unavailable from the bench.
Dallas’ lineup featured lots of youth, including their Homegrown striker Ricardo Pepi who is coming off a hat trick against the LA Galaxy.
The game got off to a disastrous start for Sporting KC. Johnny Russell was dispossessed and Dallas immediately countered and Paxton Pomykal scored from outside the box. Russell and the other SKC players complained of a handball during the interception but it doesn’t appear the play was reviewed as the game was restarted very quickly.
In just the third minute SKC were down 1-0. In the 8th it was nearly two as Pepi got in deep and attempted to chip Tim Melia only to have him come up huge to keep it 1-0.
Sporting would start to look more dangerous as the game settled down slightly after it’s feverish back and forth pace to start. KC got in deep and forced a desperate clearance in the box from Dallas. Then to start the 18th minute Johnny Russell crossed a ball in which just missed the head of Khiry Shelton and landed in Jimmy Mauer’s hands.
After that Dallas would gain a little possession with Walter coming up big with a block from about the part of the pitch where Dallas scored and Melia coming up with another save, this time against Schon who had beat Zusi into the box.
It wouldn’t be until the 32nd minute that SKC would turn all their possession into a chance. After a series of passes, Salloi fought hard in the corner to keep the ball before turning it back to Zusi who lofted a cross into Gadi Kinda for a header on goal, but with not quite enough pace and too close to Jimmy Mauer. Just two minutes later they’d threaten again with another Kinda header, this time it would drift wide of the net.
As the half was coming to an end on an SKC corner Daniel Salloi was taken down in the box. I’m not sure it was a PK, but inexplicable the ref called a foul on Salloi. As they left the field, Russell, Fontas and others had plenty to say to the ref. Dallas led at halftime, 1-0.
The second half would get off to a nearly as quick disaster. Khiry Shelton got dispossess with a two handed shove in the back which immediately led to a Dallas counter and a Jesus Ferreira goal. 2-0 Dallas.
Instead of whining, SKC came back strong with chance after chance, culminating with a series of shots in the box and a possible foul on Salloi who was shoved off an attempt at a rebound. Once again, no intervention from the VAR and SKC remain down 2-0. In the chaos of those chances and a Dallas injury, Ilie Sanchez was subbed on for Remi Walter as the first change of the game.
The game continued it’s feverish pace with Kansas City constantly on the attack desperately looking for a goal. The ref, who chose not to call a lot in the game, decided to pull out the games first yellow on a perceived dive by Salloi. Daniel tries to get around the defender in the box who puts his body in the way and body checks Salloi to the ground. I think it’s a clean defensive play, but there is a lot of contact so it’s definitely not a dive.
Dallas would get their first yellow on Twumasi just after this. It was a very violent foul. Maybe his fifth foul of the game. Salloi had been counting them early as an argument for persistent infringement existed in the first half. It was the 74th minute when he finally got one though. If it had been a second yellow, the game may play out differently.
Immediately after, Kinda would put the ball into the net on a chaotic play in the box. The ball was passed in to Luis Martins who was cleaned out before Kinda put away the chaotic rebound. Trouble was, Martins was just offside in the buildup. Still 2-0 Dallas.
After a couple time wasting yellows to FC Dallas (Bressan and Jara), Sporting KC finally broke through on a recycled set piece. The initial ball in from Russell wasn’t good, but Zusi sent in a lofted cross to the corner where Salloi crossed it into Russell for a driven header to make it 2-1 Dallas.
From there, it would be chance after chance for Sporting, but mostly nothing more than half-chances. Dallas would effectively kill (waste) the final seven minutes to pull out a 2-1 win on the road. Their first road win of the season. Dallas continues to be KC’s kryptonite.
SKC are back in action mid-week with a Wednesday game against LAFC on the road.