Sporting Falls 2-1 to FC Dallas
Sporting Kansas City (9-4-3, 30 points) fell 2-1 to FC Dallas (4-7-5, 17 points) on Saturday night at Children's Mercy Park, suffering their first regular season home loss since September 2020. Paxton Pomykal and Jesus Ferreira struck early in each half for the visitors, and although captain Johnny Russell grabbed a goal back in the 85th minute, Sporting's spirited late rally wasn't enough to extend an 11-game home unbeaten run.
Saturday's frustrating defeat keeps Sporting in second place in the Western Conference, three points behind leaders Seattle Sounders FC. Dallas, meanwhile, broke a club-record eight-match road losing streak that dated back to November 2020 and improved to 5-0-1 in their last six meetings against Sporting.
An unchanged Sporting Kansas City side from last Sunday's 3-1 road win over Seattle Sounders FC fell behind inside three minutes. A well-worked Dallas attack culminated with Ryan Hollingshead playing to Pomykal, who picked out the low left corner with an impressive 20-yard strike past goalkeeper Tim Melia. The goal was Pomykal's first of the season and the earliest conceded by Sporting since June 23, 2018.
The visitors had their tales up early and could have doubled their advantage in the eighth minute, but Ricardo Pepi's close-range chip shot at a tight angle was repelled by Melia. Sporting gradually grew into the game from there, with Gadi Kinda on the end of two fleeting chances near the half-hour mark. His bouncing header off a pinpoint Graham Zusi cross was smothered by Dallas goalkeeper Jimmy Mauer before another headed attempt -- this one off a looping Daniel Salloi cross -- skipped marginally wide.
Dallas had scored twice in their first seven away matches this season but doubled that haul in the 51st minute. Following a giveaway at midfield, head coach Luchi Gonzalez's side cashed in as Ferreira sent an excellent curler into the top right corner from the top of the box. The homegrown forward now has three goals in five career appearances against Sporting, including two at Children's Mercy Park.
Playing their 400th regular season home match, Sporting gained steam as the second half wore on and almost halved the deficit in the 54th minute. Salloi dashed onto Russell's high-arching long ball and lobbed his shot over the bar with multiple defenders putting him under duress and Mauer advanced well off his line.
Sporting amplified their pressure and were unlucky not to find the back of the net in the 60th minute. Kinda's low drive was cast aside by the outstretched Mauer, Salloi was toppled to the turf by Ema Twumasi on the rebound and Russell's follow-up effort was blocked through traffic.
Shortly after Dallas substitute Jader Obrian spurned a chance to put the game to bed on the breakaway, Kinda tucked the ball into the back of the net amid a chaotic goalmouth scramble. However, the linesman had raised his flag after Salloi was deemed to be offside in the buildup to the goal.
Russell delivered Sporting a deserved goal in the 85th minute, snapping a powerful header low across Mauer off Salloi's teasing delivery from the right wing. The Scottish winger has three goals in his last four appearances, while Salloi is tied for the MLS lead with 13 combined goals (nine) and primary assists (four). Salloi's helper also extended a laudable streak as Sporting KC Academy products have now scored or assisted in 11 straight matches.
Manager Peter Vermes' men pushed hard in search of a late leveler, but Dallas leveraged the waning clock to their advantage and emerged with all three points.
Sporting will have an opportunity to bounce back quickly as they begin a breathless stretch of six matches in 18 days starting next week. First up is a challenging road trip to star-studded LAFC (6-5-5, 23 points) on Wednesday, with kickoff at Banc of California Stadium slated for 9:30 p.m. CT. Fans can catch the action live on Bally Sports Kansas City Plus, Bally Sports Midwest Plus, BallySports.com and the Bally Sports app.
Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes
Thoughts on the match...
I think you've got to give Dallas credit. I think that they played with some real urgency in the game. They were clean and crisp in their buildup. I don't think we expected the game to be as fast as it was - for some reason, I don't why - at the start. The goal got scored and then we were in the game. After that, from that point on, we were in the game. They scored two good goals. We were all over them, in and around their box. We just couldn't find it. It was a great goal by Johnny (Russell). But we couldn't find it at the end. I have no complaints about our guys other than we just have to be ready for the start of the game. That was it. I'll make sure that that happens next time. (It's) tough just because I thought we put everything in it.
On the fast start by FC Dallas...
We just weren't in the game. We weren't ready to go to start the game.
On the space FC Dallas found in the game...
I think, in the first half, we were a little bit late in some situations. I thought in the second half we were much better. That's because we made some adjustments at halftime. It was more of just a decision and a commitment level. That got fixed pretty quick.
On if tonight's result amplifies the challenge of falling behind early...
I don't know if it amplifies it. It takes on the same kind of emphasis. It doesn't change. You don't want to start in the hole. We don't want to. Today, I think when the game started, we were maybe in third gear and they were in fifth gear to start. The pace of the ball, the movement of the ball, us moving with the game - we just weren't there so they scored. After that, the game changed. I think the guys realize it. They know it. After the goal, I think they were completely different, personally.
On the identity of the team without Gianluca Busio and Alan Pulido...
We've played without those guys before. We have a group that can find a way. I still think that we're a dangerous team. We battle in games. We find ways to win usually. Tonight we didn't. It's not for a lack of effort. It's not for a lack of chances. It's not for a lack of creativity. We're still in it. So from that point of view, it was still like us. It's probably one of those times where we didn't find our way back. We were close, but we didn't find our way back to getting in the game.
Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gadi Kinda
On FC Dallas' start to the match...
They scored very quickly. It was hard to come back after. I think that if we scored before them, it would have been much easier for us. Even after the goal, I think that we played well and had a lot of chances to score. I hope that we win the next game.
Sporting Kansas City defender Andreu Fontas
On FC Dallas' two goals...
We allowed two quality players to make shots from distance. They may not usually score from there, but today they hit two very good shots and scored. It's frustrating because I think we tried to push them back. We did it in a lot of other games, but today I think that it was impossible. As I said, they scored two goals in two key moments. They then tried to stop the game and the referee allowed them to.
On the team's ability to rebound from early deficits this season...
The fact that we can come back and we've come back in a lot of other games is huge. It means that we have a spirit and fight until the end. Today we did it again. We didn't get the result we wanted, but we showed that we can come from behind. We need to do better and start winning. It's huge for us to score first and not allow them to start wasting time. They had two chances and they scored. Being two behind, it was nearly impossible.
On the defense's struggle to stay tight...
After they scored two goals, maybe we should have stayed closer. We should be closer to them. If I went closer, then maybe they would play in my box which creates different decisions. Today we didn't make the best ones. When they punish you like they did with two very good goals, it makes you feel like you should have been more involved. That's the game though.
2021 MLS Regular Season | Match 16
Children's Mercy Park | Kansas City, Kansas
Weather: 77 degrees and cloudy
Score 1 2 F
Sporting Kansas City (9-4-3, 30 points) 0 1 1
FC Dallas (4-7-5, 17 points) 1 1 2
Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Graham Zusi, Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, Andreu Fontas, Luis Martins; Remi Walter (Ilie Sanchez 61'), Roger Espinoza, Gadi Kinda; Johnny Russell (C), Khiry Shelton (Wilson Harris 77'), Daniel Salloi
Subs Not Used: John Pulskamp, Jaylin Lindsey, Kayden Pierre, Roberto Puncec, Kaveh Rad, Graham Smith, Ozzie Cisneros
FC Dallas: Jimmy Mauer; Ema Twumasi, Nkosi Tafari, Bressan (C) (Matt Hedges 81'), Ryan Hollingshead; Edwin Cerrillo, Quignon; Paxton Pomykal (Brandon Servania 77'), Jesus Ferreira (John Nelson 77'), Szabolcs Schon (Jader Obrian 72'); Ricardo Pepi (Franco Jara 81')
Subs Not Used: Phelipe, Eddie Munjoma, Freddy Vargas, Kalil Elmedkhar
DAL -- Paxton Pomykal 1 (Ryan Hollingshead 4) 3'
DAL -- Jesus Ferreira 1 (Szabolcs Schon 2, Ricardo Pepi 1) 51'
SKC -- Johnny Russell 3 (Daniel Salloi 4, Graham Zusi 2) 85'
SKC -- Daniel Salloi (yellow card; simulation) 68'
DAL -- Ema Twumasi (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 73'
DAL -- Bressan (yellow card; time wasting) 80'
DAL -- Franco Jara (yellow card; not retreating) 84'
DAL -- Matt Hedges (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 90+1'
Stat SKC FCD
Shots 20 12
Shots on Goal 4 5
Saves 3 3
Fouls 12 14
Offsides 2 2
Corner Kicks 7 2
Referee: Alex Chilowicz
Assistant Referee: Cory Richardson
Assistant Referee: Ryan Graves
Fourth Official: Matthew Corrigan
VAR: Malik Badawi
AVAR: Mike Kampmeinert
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