Sporting KC stun St. Louis City to open first-round series
Posted on: 30 Oct, 2023 at 04:35 AM
Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
Logan Ndenbe, Remi Walter, Gadi Kinda and Daniel Salloi all scored goals as eighth-seeded Sporting Kansas City roundly outplayed top-seeded St. Louis City to earn a resounding 4-1 upset victory in a first-round playoff match on Sunday night in St. Louis.
The heavy downpour didn't deter Sporting Kansas City, a team that went winless (0-7-3) in its first 10 matches and didn't qualify for the postseason until the final day of the regular season.
Now Sporting Kansas City will look to wrap up the best-of-three series when they host St. Louis City next Sunday.
Tim Parker scored a goal for St. Louis City, the expansion franchise that stunningly was the top team in the Western Conference this season.
Counting the regular season, St. Louis City have dropped three straight matches by a cumulative 9-1 score.
St. Louis City won two of the three regular-season meetings with Sporting KC, including home wins of 4-0 and 4-1.
Sporting KC beat the San Jose Earthquakes in penalty kicks in the wild-card round on Wednesday. SKC have won four straight matches since the 4-1 loss to St. Louis on Sept. 30.
Sporting KC's Tim Melia had five saves. Roman Burki of St. Louis made six stops.
SKC had a 15-10 advantage in shots and placed 11 on target to St. Louis' six.
Kansas City scored three goals during a 12-minute stretch to hold a 3-1 halftime advantage.
Ndenbe got Sporting KC on the board in the 27th minute when he sent a left-footed shot from the left side into the right portion of the net.
Just one minute later, St. Louis knotted the score on a corner kick. The ball hit an SKC defender and caromed to Parker, who sent a close-range, left-footed shot into the net.
Sporting KC moved ahead in the 36th minute on a sequence that included Burki making a kick save of Kinda's right-footer. The rebound went toward Walter in the center of the box, and he ripped a low left-footed kick to the left of Burki.
Three minutes later, SKC took a two-goal lead when Kinda kicked a right-footer into the top right corner of the net.
In the 61st minute, Sporting KC stretched their lead to 4-1 when Alan Pulido flicked a header toward Salloi, who sent a close-range left-footer into the net.
St. Louis was unable to mount a comeback and Melia made big stops on Joao Klauss' right-footed smash in the 72nd minute and Klauss' close-range header in the second and final minute of second-half stoppage time.
--Field Level Media