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 Sporting Kansas City II

Kamron Habibullah Hat Trick Leads Sporting KC II to Stunning 5-3 Comeback Win Over Rapids 2

April 7, 2024 - MLS NEXT Pro (MLS NEXT Pro)
Sporting Kansas City II News Release


Kamron Habibullah scored a sensational hat trick and Beto Avila bagged a late brace as Sporting Kansas City II (2-2-0, 6 points) hammered four unanswered second-half goals past Colorado Rapids 2 (1-2-1, 4 points) to claim a jaw-dropping 5-3 comeback victory on Sunday night at University of Denver Soccer Stadium.

Facing a 3-1 hole at halftime, head coach Benny Feilhaber's side responded emphatically to claim one of the most memorable road wins in club history. Habibullah's second strike of the night ignited the fightback before Avila's quickfire double completed the stunning swing. Not to be outdone, Habibullah put the finishing touches on an astounding game with a late third goal to seal his hat trick and bring three points back home to Kansas City.

Colorado threatened within 60 seconds of kickoff, but Antony Garcia's audacious curler from the edge of the box breezed beyond goalkeeper Ryan Schewe's left-hand post. SKC II then crafted a huge chance of their own at the opposite end in the fourth minute, pressing high and creating a turnover only for to see his shot blocked through traffic amidst a scramble in the penalty area.

A finely poised affair continued to ebb and flow as the visitors created more danger in the 13th minute, with Maouloune Goumballe receiving a pass with his back to goal, swiveling at the top of the box and forcing a save from Colorado goalkeeper and former Sporting KC II standout Ethan Bandre. Rapids 2 were quick to counter as Alec Diaz spurned a clear look by blazing high at the quarter-hour mark.

Feilhaber's men grew in stature and took a well-earned lead in the 21st minute. An intricate play down the right flank culminated with Avila playing a clever cutback ball into the path of Habibullah, who made no mistake with a cool finish from 10 yards for his first goal since joining Sporting KC II at the start of 2024.

Rapids 2 absorbed the hammer blow and restored parity three minutes after falling behind. Outside back Patrick Dormoh advanced into an attacking position, cut centrally from the right side and sent a piledriver high inside the near post to tie the score at 1-1.

Rapids playmaker Marlon Vargas gave the match its first lead change of the night in the 31st minute. With a goal in his fourth straight appearance, Vargas pinged a shot low off the left post and into the net after SKC II were unable to deal with a driven cross into the danger area. With momentum on their side, the hosts went ahead 3-1 just before halftime when Diaz raced onto a diagonal through ball and tucked low past Schewe to put SKC II behind the eight ball.

SKC II began the second period brightly and went agonizingly close to cutting their deficit in half on 48 minutes. Sebastian Cruz leveraged his speed to beat the Colorado backline and had only Bandre to beat on the breakaway, but his former teammate produced a big save to thwart the Sporting KC Academy product.

Ethan Bryant-one of four halftime substitutes for SKC II alongside goalkeeper Carlito Saylon, defender Demarre Montoute and midfielder Danny Flores-was next to take a stab at goal in the 57th minute, but his header off a corner kick was saved by Bandre. The visitors had another set piece opportunity go begging in the 66th minute as Montoute's leaping header was nodded off the goal line by a Colorado defender.

Habibullah doubled his tally in clinical fashion with 68 minutes on the clock. Receiving a pass on the right flank, Cruz zagged past his man and drove centrally before clipping a delightful diagonal lob into the box for Habibullah, who did brilliantly to settle the ball and slot low between a defender's legs and into the low left corner.

Avila then stamped his name on proceedings with a pair of goals between the 74th and 78th minutes, effectively turning an already wild game on its head. The in-form striker knotted the score at 3-3 by collecting a loose ball near the penalty spot and dispatching with aplomb past the outstretched Bandre. Shortly thereafter, Avila lost his marker on a corner kick and nodded Bryant's pinpoint delivery into the net for his team-leading fourth goal of the 2024 campaign, giving SKC II a 4-3 advantage.

With the Rapids now chasing an equalizer, Habibullah provided a lethal knockout blow in the 87th minute by dispossessing an opponent 40 yards from goal, blazing goalward and expertly finishing to secure a sweet 5-3 victory.

SKC II will return home next Sunday, April 14, to host Houston Dynamo 2 in a 5 p.m. CT showdown at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Missouri. Tickets for the game are available at SeatGeek.com.

Sporting KC II 5-3 Colorado Rapids 2

Score 1 2 F

Sporting Kansas City II (2-2-0, 6 points) 1 4 5

Colorado Rapids 2 (1-2-1, 4 points) 3 0 3

Sporting Kansas City II: Ryan Schewe (Carlito Saylon 46'); Nati Clarke (Demarre Montoute 46'), Chris Rindov, Jacob Bartlett, Jonathan Robinson (Danny Flores 46'); Sebastian Cruz (Ethan Schaefer 84'), Jake Swallen (Ethan Bryant 46'), Kamron Habibullah; Maouloune Goumballe, Beto Avila, Ryan Reid (Ozzie Cisneros 56')

Subs Not Used: Haris Alisah, Cielo Tschantret, Medgy Alexandre

Colorado Rapids 2: Ethan Bandre, Patrick Dormoh, Josh Belluz, Daniel Garcia (Nate Jones 87'), Logan Batiste; Ricardo Pena (Robinson Aguirre 75'), Daouda Amadou (Andre Romo 80'), Marlon Vargas; Noah Strellnauer (Facundo Techera 75'), Alec Diaz, Antony Garcia (Colton Swan 75')

Subs Not Used: Miguel Alvarado, Kendall Starks

Scoring Summary:

SKC -- Kamron Habibullah 1 (Beto Avila 1) 21'

COL -- Patrick Dormoh 1 (Daouda Amadou 1) 24'

COL -- Marlon Vargas 4 (Noah Strellnauer 1) 31'

COL -- Alec Diaz 1 (Daniel Garcia 1) 44'

SKC -- Kamron Habibullah 2 (Sebastian Cruz 1) 68'

SKC -- Beto Avila 2 (unassisted) 74'

SKC -- Kamron Habibullah (unassisted) 87'

Misconduct Summary:

COL -- Daouda Amadou (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 32'

SKC -- Jake Swallen (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 34'

COL -- Alec Diaz (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 45+1'

SKC -- Kamron Habibullah (yellow card; unsporting behavior 76')

COL -- Andre Romo (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 84'

SKC -- Danny Flores (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 90+3'

Match Statistics

Stat SKC COL

Shots 23 10

Shots on Goal 15 4

Saves 1 10

Fouls 11 17

Offsides 4 1

Corner Kicks 7 3

Referee: Marcelo Soto

Assistant Referee: William Aten

Assistant Referee: Charles Rupert

Fourth Official: Kevin Lewis

Sam Kovzan - @skovzan


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