Sporting KC suffers 3-2 loss at Inter Miami CF

By Kurt Austin –

Sporting Kansas City suffered a 3-2 setback on Saturday in the club’s first ever match-up with Inter Miami CF.

Daniel Salloi opened the scoring, marking his fifth straight regular season match with a goal or assist, and Alan Pulido closed out the scoresheet as the Mexican striker moved into second place in the MLS Golden Boot race with his 13th goal of the campaign.

However, the two Sporting KC goals bookended a spree of three goals from Inter Miami CF at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, highlighted by a first-half brace from Designated Player Leo Campana and the game-winning goal from 21-year-old summer signing Facundo Farias. With the win, Inter Miami extends the team’s unbeaten streak to 12 consecutive matches across all competitions for a side that won Leagues Cup 2023 and is set to play in the U.S. Open Cup Final later this month.

Salloi continued his strong run of form and put Sporting ahead 1-0 in the ninth minute with his seventh goal of the season and 45th goal of his MLS career. Felipe Gutierrez set up the breakthrough, first winning the ball off Dixon Arroyo then evading the Ecuador international before unleashing a shot from beyond 30 yards out that was too hot for Inter Miami CF goalkeeper Drake Callender to handle. Salloi’s goal-scoring instincts put him in the right spot at the right time and the Hungarian fired home the rebound from the top of the six-yard box.

Inter Miami entered Saturday’s match winless this season (0-14-1) in MLS play when conceding the opening goal, but would end that streak emphatically with three straight goals to capture all three points in their push for the playoffs. Campana produced the equalizer, earning and then converting a penalty in the 24th minute, and then struck for the go-ahead goal on the cusp of halftime with a header off a cross from club captain DeAndre Yedlin in the 45th minute.

The eventual game-winning goal would come in controversial fashion 15 minutes into the second half as Ismail Elfath, the reigning MLS Referee of the Year, whistled Andreu Fontas for a dubious handling decision. Sergio Busquets took the restart quickly and picked out the run of Farias behind the Sporting KC backline as the Argentine scored in his second straight match.

Trailing 3-1, Sporting KC refused to go quietly and would pull a goal back in the 78thminute. Pulido combined with Erik Thommy on  a give-and-go and expertly squeezed between two defenders at the corner of the penalty area before sending a sublime strike inside the far post. Pulido, who leads MLS with 12 goals since the start of June, has a team-best 14 goals in all competitions this season after missing all of 2022 due to injury, while Thommy leads the team with 12 assists in all competitions and now has five goal contributions (one goal, four assists) in his past three matches.

Sporting pushed numbers forward in hopes of leveling the match late and would attempt the game’s final nine shots – including a chance from second-half substitute Tim Leibold that deflected wide in the 85th minute and a header from Willy Agada saved by Callender in stoppage time – however would come up emptyhanded.

The result leaves Sporting KC two points out of playoff position with six matches remaining, including a road trip to Minnesota United FC next Saturday. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT at Allianz Field and the Western Conference match-up will air live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

2023 MLS Regular Season | Match 28
DRV PNK Stadium | Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Attendance: 19,355
Weather: 82 degrees and clear

Sporting Kansas City 2-3 Inter Miami CF
Sporting Kansas City (8-12-8, 32 points)
Inter Miami CF (8-14-4, 28 points)

Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Jake Davis (Tim Leibold 75′), Dany Rosero, Andreu Fontas, Logan Ndenbe (Khiry Shelton 90′); Remi Walter (Roger Espinoza 90′), Felipe Gutierrez (Nemanja Radoja 46′), Erik Thommy; Johnny Russell (C), Alan Pulido, Daniel Salloi (Willy Agada 71′)

Subs Not Used: Kendall McIntosh, Robert Voloder, Danny Flores, Felipe Hernandez

Inter Miami CF: Drake Callender; Jordi Alba, Kamal Miller, Tomas Aviles, DeAndre Yedlin (C); Dixon Arroyo, Sergio Busquets, Facundo Farias (Victor Ulloa 88′); Robbie Robinson (Noah Allen 83′), Leo Campana, Nicolas Stefanelli (Lawson Sunderland 75′)

Subs Not Used: C.J. Dos Santos, Christopher McVey, Ryan Sailor, Lucas John Meek, Cameron Alec Johnson

Scoring Summary:
SKC – Daniel Salloi 7 (unassisted) 9′
MIA – Leo Campana 6 (penalty kick) 25′
MIA – Leo Campana 7 (DeAndre Yedlin 4, Facundo Farias 1) 45′
MIA – Facundo Farias 2 (Sergio Busquets 2) 60′
SKC – Alan Pulido 13 (Erik Thommy 10)  78′

Misconduct Summary:
SKC – Felipe Gutierrez (yellow card; delaying a restart) 33′
MIA – Tomas Aviles (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 66′
SKC – Tim Leibold (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 79′
MIA – Jordi Alba (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 90+3′

Match Statistics
Shots on Goal
Corner Kicks

Referee: Ismail Elfath
Assistant Referee: Logan Brown
Assistant Referee: Jeffrey Greeson
Fourth Official: Elton Garcia
VAR: Tim Ford
AVAR: Jonathan Johnson

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.


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