Sporting Kansas City 2, LAFC 1 | 2018 MLS Match Recap
A top-of-the-Western Conference game between the sides, Sporting went down to 10 men in the second half but regained the lead to secure top seed and avoid the Knockout Round in the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs.
In a game with playoff intensity and filled with physical play on both sides, Sporting took the lead in the 37th minute through midfielder Roger Espinoza, who unleashed a shot from distance after the home side forced a turnover in midfield and played quickly upfield to catch LAFC out.
LAFC brought on Latif Blessing at the half, and the former Sporting man brought an immediate boost to the visitors' attack after a fruitless first half. A save off the line by Seth Sinovic on Adama Diomande's attempt at the hour mark went to Video Review, with the result being a red card to Sinovic for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity and a penalty for LAFC. Carlos Vela stepped up to tie up the game from the spot for LAFC.
But Daniel Salloi continued his rich vein of form of late for Sporting, as he combined with another red-hot player, Khiry Shelton, as the Hungarian hit the goal against the run of play to put the home side ahead once more.
- 37' – SKC – Roger Espinoza | WATCH
- 63' – LAFC – Carlos Vela (PK) | WATCH
- 72' – SKC – Daniel Salloi | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Sporting get the job done, and while they had a nervy 25 minutes or so in the second half, made LAFC play their game and came out on top. Peter Vermes' men have to be favorites in the West. LAFC, meanwhile, will be heartened by their second-half resurgence, but they were second-best and will have to prepare for a midweek game to open the playoffs.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Sinovic's red card would have been the play, but Salloi's goal negated the turning-point nature of that.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Matt Besler had an exceptional game, but Salloi scored his third game-winner in three games. His goal was the difference, so he gets the nod.