Sporting defender Ike Opara rose high above Minnesota defender Brent Kallman (14) and goalkeeper Patrick McLain (24) to open the scoring in the first half. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)
Sporting KC midfielder Jimmy Medranda was taken to the ground on a strong challenge by Minnesota midfielder Collen Warner in the first half of the U.S. Open Cup game between the two MLS teams. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)
Photos and story copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel
Sporting KC delivered a punishing blow to Minnesota United FC in the U.S. Open Cup game between the two sides on Wednesday night in Kansas City, Kansas, winning 4 – 0 and leaving no doubt about the team’s motivation to win its fourth cup trophy.
The U.S. Open Cup is a single elimination tournament played among the major professional and semi-professional leagues in the United States. The next round will be played in the last week of June, and Sporting KC will learn its opponent and game location Thursday.
After a rough opening to the first half, in which Sporting KC was whistled for several fouls, the home team took over the game, pressing the attack and keeping pressure on Minnesota’s defense. Sporting KC took 19 shots for the game, against only 5 for Minnesota.
KC defender Ike Opara opened the scoring late in the first half with a leaping header set up by a corner kick from Graham Zusi. Gerso Fernandes followed with a goal in first half stoppage time, giving Sporting KC a 2 – 0 lead at halftime.
The game was halted for several minutes early in the second half when Minnesota defender Joseph Greenspan suffered a head injury while contesting a ball in the air against Roger Espinoza. Greenspan was removed from the field in a stretcher.
Dom Dwyer added a goal in the 72nd minute on an assist by Gerso and forward Daniel Salloi scored his first career goal for Sporting KC off an assist from Roger Espinoza for the final margin.
Sporting forward Dom Dwyer reacted with disbelief as his first half shot sailed just over the goal. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)
Sporting forward Daniel Salloi struck a bicycle kick to center the ball. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)
A hard collision with Sporting KC midfielder Roger Espinoza injured Minnesota defender Joseph Greenspan, who received medical attention for about 10 minutes before being removed on a stretcher. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)
Daniel Salloi struck his first career goal for Sporting KC in the second half to make the score 3-0. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)
After the game, Kevin Ellis helped Daniel Salloi celebrate his first goal. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)
Many fans stuck around after the game to greet the players and get autographs from the players. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)