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Sporting Kansas City 1, Minnesota United 2 | MLS is Back Tournament Match Recap

Group D at the MLS is Back Tournament began with plenty of drama, as Minnesota United surged back with two goals in second-half stoppage time to earn a 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City on Sunday night.

The Loons never gave up, and found their match-winner in the 97th minute via Kevin Molino. The midfielder collected a squared ball from Raheem Edwards following a deep cross, and deposited past backup goalkeeper Richard Sanchez.

Sanchez entered the match in the 76th minute after Tim Melia was shown a straight red card for dragging down Aaron Schoenfeld, having been judged to have denied an obvious goalscoring opportunity. That swung the match in Minnesota’s favor, and loomed large after Sporting failed to double their advantage.

Minnesota made it 1-1 in the 92nd minute after Jan Gregus whipped in a free kick that Khiry Shelton redirected into his own net. From there, the Loons threw numbers forward in search of three points.

Sporting came out of the gates flying, and opened a 1-0 lead in the 43rd minute via Shelton after a clever midfield turn from Alan Pulido. Shelton drove into the 18-yard box and slotted home at the near post as Loons’ goalkeeper Tyler Miller committed himself to a cross.

Beyond the goals, Minnesota thought they found an equalizer in the 64th minute via Ethan Finlay. However, the bundled-home chance was overturned following a Video Review, with Molino deemed to interfere from an offside position. 

Goals

  • 43' – SKC – Khiry Shelton | WATCH
  • 92' – MIN – Khiry Shelton (OG) | WATCH
  • 97' – MIN – Kevin Molino | WATCH

Man of the Match presented by Heineken

Kevin Molino has a thing for scoring in Orlando, as highlighted by a career-high 11 strikes with the Lions in 2016. He now has three tallies on the year, with this one in the 97th minute sealing a come-from-behind effort.

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Minnesota entered the match without center back Ike Opara (withdrawn from the tournament) and midfielder Ozzie Alonso, then saw forward Luis Amarilla go down in warmups with a groin injury. That gutted the Loons’ spine to some degree, but they dug deep to turn defeat into a special final 20 minutes. Both teams also entered the year 2-0 after starting red-hot, so only the Loons remain undefeated.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Tim Melia’s red card changed the game’s entire complexion, forcing Richard Sanchez to enter the match cold. That gave Minnesota encouragement to pour numbers forward, and Sporting eventually buckled.
  • YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: This was Minnesota’s first game back since George Floyd was killed, and they paid tribute with a captain's armband that sported his name. Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was killed by a white police officer this past May in Minneapolis, with his death sparking nationwide protests.

Next Up

  • SKC: Friday, July 17 vs. Colorado Rapids (8 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes; TSN in Canada)
  • MIN: Friday, July 17 vs. Real Salt Lake (10:30 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes; TSN in Canada) 
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