MLS
Sporting KCSKC
3
FINAL
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ColoradoCOL

Sporting Kansas City 3, Colorado Rapids 2 | MLS is Back Tournament Match Recap

Graham Zusi’s deflected stoppage-time winner helped lift Sporting Kansas City to a 3-2 win over the nine-man Colorado Rapids in a wild Group D match Friday night.

It was a match that had a bit of everything with three Video Reviews, a pair of sending offs and 12 minutes of second-half stoppage time.

It was a role reversal of sorts for Sporting, who were victimized by a Tim Melia red card and conceded twice late in a 2-1 loss to Minnesota United in their opener.

Zusi’s winner erased Jonathan Lewis’ dramatic 84th-minute equalizer for the Rapids, who led early on a sensational first-time strike by Kellyn Acosta.

Khiry Shelton scored his second goal of the tournament — third if you include his own goal equalizer against the Loons — in the 65th minute, a first-time volley to level.

Alan Pulido gave Sporting its first lead from the penalty spot in the 72nd minute after Diego Rubio was ruled to have handled Zusi’s cross following Video Review.

Moments later, Jack Price was sent off by referee David Gantar on a straight red card for dissent.

Goals

  • 6’ — COL — Kellyn Acosta | WATCH
  • 65’ — SKC — Khiry Shelton | WATCH
  • 72’ — SKC — Alan Pulido (PK) | WATCH
  • 84’ — COL — Jonathan Lewis | WATCH
  • 90’+2’ — SKC — Graham Zusi | WATCH

Man of the Match presented by Heineken

Graham Zusi scored the late winner, but the spark for the come-from-behind victory was lit by Khiry Shelton, who scored a dynamic equalizer in the 65th minute. You have to feel for Shelton, whose own goal leveled for Minnesota United in Sporting’s 2-1 defeat in their tournament opener.

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: It wasn’t as wild as the San Jose Earthquakes’ win over the Vancouver Whitecaps, but these Western Conference foes came close, especially in the final 45 minutes. Sporting will feel the Soccer Gods are shining down as they picked up three massive points. A few moments of madness ultimately unraveled the Rapids who now have nothing to show from their first two matches.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: It’s got to be Zusi’s late winner. It won’t go down as the goal of the game, or even of the second half, but its importance on the night — and in the tournament — for SKC may be massive.
  • YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Wilson’s sending off wasn’t the only Video Review for a potential red card. Late in the first half, Benezet swung his arm and made contact with Graham Zusi. He received a yellow, but should it have been more?

Next Up

  • SKC: Wednesday, July 22 vs. Real Salt Lake (9 am ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes in US; TSN in Canada)
  • COL: Wednesday, July 22 vs. Minnesota United (10:30 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes in US; TSN in Canada)
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