Sporting KC keeps playoff hopes alive with win over Minnesota

Sep 17, 2022; Kansas City, Kansas, USA; Sporting Kansas City midfielder Eric Thammy (26) kicks a shot on goal as Minnesota United goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair (97) defends during the first half of the match at Children's Mercy Park. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

A pair of summer additions, Erik Thommy and Willy Agada, scored goals as Sporting Kansas City defeated visiting Minnesota United 4-1 on Saturday to keep its playoff hopes alive. Sporting is riding a six-match unbeaten streak (4-0-2).

Sporting KC (10-15-7, 37 points) still needs to win its last two matches, and then hope that Real Salt Lake loses its last three matches, including a home match later Saturday against Cincinnati, to have any chance to advance to the MLS playoffs.

Minnesota (13-13-6, 45 points) is above the red line in the Western Conference but is tied with Portland for sixth place.

Trailing 3-0, Minnesota pulled one back in the 57th minute. Mender Garcia right-footed a shot from the right side of the box. Kemar Lawrence fed Garcia with a long cross. Garcia caught it with his right foot and fired past SKC keeper John Pulskamp, all in one motion.

Minnesota nearly drew within a goal in the 77th minute. Garcia almost slid it past Pulskamp but defender Ben Sweat cleared it before it crossed the line. Agada, celebrating his 23rd birthday, then recorded a brace in the 81st minute. Daniel Salloi crossed it to Agada who redirected it into the goal.

Sporting KC dominated the first half, controlling nearly two-thirds of the possession with a big shot advantage.

Sporting jumped ahead midway through the first half on an own goal by Michael Boxall in the 31st minute. Johnny Russell fired a shot from the right wing that caromed off Boxall’s right knee and straight into the net.

Russell then hit the left post in the 41st minute, but it came back to him on the right wing. He fed Thommy, who one-timed it past Minnesota keeper Dayne St. Clair for a 2-0 lead.

Agada then took a centering pass from Sweat and headed it from the 6-yard line past a lunging St. Clair in the 45th minute.

Sporting improved to 7-0-0 all-time against Minnesota at Children’s Mercy Park in MLS regular-season action.

–Field Level Media

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