KANSAS CITY, KS - Sporting Kansas City starting 11 before the match between Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake on Wednesday, June 19, 2024 at Children's Mercy Park (Parker Johnson/IONYOU Media)

Real Salt Lake Extends Unbeaten Streak with 4-3 Victory Over Sporting Kansas City

KANSAS CITY – Riding a remarkable streak of wins and draws, Real Salt Lake was welcomed to Children’s Mercy Park holding a fourteen-match unbeaten streak. Sporting Kansas City on the other hand was looking to rebound after a frustrating loss on the road against LA Galaxy. 

Sporting Kansas City flew right out of the gates, applying pressure to RSL’s back line in the early minutes of the game. However, the pressure ended up being counterproductive allowing Salt Lake’s Andres Gomez to break away for the first goal of the night. The aggressive attacking nature allowed RSL to take advantage of SKC’s defensive line playing up. 

Throughout the first half, SKC Midfielder Erik Thommy took a beating, stopping play multiple times. The first of his injuries included a defensive tackle in which he ended up drawing blood next to his left eye. He remained in after being treated to and managed to possess the ball in the box before having his feet taken out from under him. The following whistle set up a penalty kick for SKC’s Johnny Russell. Russell went right and low with his shot; right into the hands of RSL Goalkeeper Gavin Beavers. It was just one of the seven saves executed by the nineteen-year-old.  

Parker Johnson/IONYOU Media

Last week in the match against LA Galaxy, SKC attacker Stephen Afrifa collected his first career MLS goal just 50 seconds after entering the game. Just 28 minutes into this match, he grabbed his second. Breaking away from the defense of RSL, Afrifa was able to collect an assist from Nemanja Radoja and fire in the equalizer.

Parker Johnson/IONYOU Media

Before the fans could even return to their seats the score was back in Real Salt Lake’s favor with Anderson Julio netting the ball in the 33rd minute. 

Throughout the match, it felt as if SKC was successful on the offensive side, forcing fourteen shots and seven corners, but struggled to get back on the defensive side. It was something that haunted them on not only the first two goals from RSL but also on the third which came in the 51st minute from Andres Gomez, his second of the night. 

When all hope seemed to be dashed, SKC was able to strike back in the 70th minute. Zorhan Bassong, who was announced a starter at the last moment before kickoff, placed a beautiful feed on Willy Agada. Agada, with a few extra moves, placed the ball perfectly in the top right section of the net over the head of RSL’s Beavers. 

However, a goal in the 84th minute from Real Salt Lake substitute, Matt Crooks, was the final jab from a dominant Real Salt Lake team. The goal was their fourth of the night. 

Sporting was able to make it interesting late with a second goal from Willy Agada, but it wasn’t enough as Real Salt Lake edged out the flailing Sporting club. Salt Lake’s performance showed why they are atop the Western Conference, as they took another three points with a 4-3 victory. 

When the totals were in for the entirety of the match, Sporting Kansas City forced thirteen corners, scoring on only one. Situational offense is likely a key talking point for Sporting as they prepare for their next match in only three days. 

Real Salt Lake will head back west to attempt to add to their Western Conference lead, facing LA Galaxy. For Sporting, they will head to Columbus to take on ‘The Crew’. Both matches are scheduled for this Saturday, June 22nd. 

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