Sporting KC surprisingly manages to knock St. Louis out of the playoffs

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Eighth-seeded Sporting Kansas City pulled off one of the biggest upsets in MLS history by defeating first-seeded St. Louis City SC in the 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs.

Last Sunday, Sporting shocked STL away from home by beating them 4-1 in Game 1 of the first round.

In Game 2 on Sunday, Sporting defeated St. Louis 2-1 to advance to the Western Conference semifinals.

At the end of a physical first half in which Sporting dominated possession with 63%, combining 19 fouls (eight for Sporting) and three yellow cards (one for SKC), left-back Logan Ndenbe fired a right-footed shot from the left into the half-time goal for Sporting with a 1-0 lead.

Forward Alan Pulido got the assist on Ndenbe’s second goal of the postseason.

In the 73rd minute, striker Johnny Russell made a through ball to midfielder Gadi Kinda, who played a ball through the legs of a defender to hit striker Dániel Sallói for the second goal of the game.

Center back Dany Rosero left the game with an injury, and St. Louis scored straight after his exit, with Célio Pompeu scoring with a left-footed shot from outside the box in the 86th minute, bringing the game closer to 2–1.

STL prevailed against Sporting (15-8) and created more chances (11-8), but had fewer shots on goal (2-4).

In the 12 minutes of stoppage time, Sporting held strong by blocking several shots and keeping the pressure on STL.

Sporting won the first series of the season with its new cross-state rival, defeating it in three of five meetings, including two playoff victories.

Sporting now waits to face the winner of fourth-seeded Houston Dynamo FC and fifth-seeded Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference semifinals beginning November 25th and 26th.

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