A depleted Minnesota United side faced off with an almost equally depleted Sporting Kansas City side tonight at Children’s Mercy Park. SKC would dominate the opening 45 minutes before the second half was more evenly matched after subs by Adrian Heath. It would however be a lone goal that separated the two sides on the scoreline with MNUFC flying back home without any points.
With a plethora of players (8 to be exact) out for Minnesota, Heath made some radical changes to the Loons lineup. Hayes, Dibassy, Musa, Edwards, and Hairston would all start for MNUFC against SKC. They would replace Molino, Reynoso, Lod, Gasper, and Métanire from the lineup on Wednesday against FC Dallas.
Sporting Kansas City tried to start the game fast and hard with a series of chances in the 4th minute. Dayne St. Clair would have to step up and make his first save of the match early in the 4th minute. Doing so in unremarkable but solid fashion.
Minnesota got lucky in the 4th minute shortly afterthat as KC’s Johnny Russell took a shot and missed wide, which kept the game level at nil-nil.
The Loons would be out possessed 64.6% to 35.4% in the first half and outshot 15 to 1 . Dayne St. Clair however, would be one of very few bright spots in the first half for Minnesota. The young goalkeeper for the Loons would make 5 saves in the first half including ones like this.
After a deadlocked first half Heath would make three changes sending in Kevin Molino for James Musa, Chase Gasper for Jose Aja, and Robin Lod to replace Raheem Edwards. Adrian Heath would also switch the Loons from a 3-5-2 formation to a more traditional 4-3-2/4-2-3-1, flexing depending on the situation.
The first half started out fairly slow for the first 10 or so minutes before the action started to heat up. Minnesota got there first chance on a play where Jan Gregus sent the ball over to Kevin Molino on the left side. Molino sent the ball into Toye who managed to get a shot, but SKC managed to push it wide giving the Loons a corner.
On that corner however, SKC goalkeeper Tim Melia punched the ball out for Sporting to start a counter attack. That counter attack would go all the way down field and Gadi Kinda would get a chance but miss wide right of the goal.
Minnesota’s fourth sub of the night would come in the 67th minute when Emanuel Reynoso would come on to replace Mason Toye.
Thomás Chacón would be the final sub of the night for Adrian Heath’s MNUFC squad as he came on in the 76th minute to replace Jacori Hayes. Based on reports that came out earlier these could be the final minutes for Chacón for quite a while as he is rumoured to go on loan back to Danubio in Uruguay.
Eventually the deadlock would be broken late in the match but not by Minnesota. Sporting Kansas City would score on a break by Johnny Russell to give the home side the lead.
Following the goal there would be a total of five yellow cards handed out. Three to Sporting Kansas City, those being Gianluca Busio, Roberto Puncec, and Gerso. Two for Minnesota would also get carded as Hassani Dotson was shown a yellow along with manager Adrian Heath. Russell’s goal however would be the lone goal of the night, giving SKC a hard fought win and jumping back to the top of the Western Conference.