By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1
Coming off of a strong win in Seattle, Sporting Kansas City fell back into old ways dropping points to rival Real Salt Lake in a 2-1 loss at Children’s Mercy Park.
The match kicked off to a rocky start with winger Gerso Fernandes forced to leave the pitch early in the sixth minute due to an ankle injury. Daniel Salloi came off the bench to take his place in helping the team maintain possession of the ball.
Johnny Russell put SKC on the board in the 31st minute with a free kick. But seven minutes later, Corey Baird was quick to respond for the visitors and leveled the match.
The home side had a chance to restore their lead after being awarded a penalty kick when RSL’s Donny Toia tripped Russell from behind inside the box. Felipe Gutierrez stepped up to convert but he watched as the ball rattled off the left post – sending them into the half tied up 1-1.
The visitors found their lead in the 70th minute when Jefferson Savarino picked out an unmarked Baird who tucked in a left footed shot into the bottom right corner for a brace.
The home team petitioned for a penalty in the 73rd minute after Gutierrez went down under Aaron Herrera’s lunging challenge and with the support of the crowd chanting for VAR – referee Fotis Bazakos reviewed the play but stood by the call of no penalty.
Things took a turn for the worst in the 84th minute when Sporting lost their second player of the match. Salloi was shown a straight red for a hard tackle on Damir Kreilach when he clipped the midfielder studs up, reducing the home side to 10 men for the duration of the match.
Sporting KC watched as their chances of playoff contention diminished further last night but is it too late? Maybe.
With ten games left in the regular season and still sitting in tenth place with 28 points and a -6 goal differential, every game from now on is crucial for SKC.
“I’m not giving up,” Peter Vermes told the press during the post match press conference.
Sporting KC will now look to bounce back in a mid-week fixture when the team visits Orlando City.
Featured image: Peaty Romano
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