Needing a result to propel their Western Conference playoff hopes, Sporting Kansas City got exactly that Sunday night at CenturyLink Field, as they emerged with a 3-2 win against the Seattle Sounders.
A brace from SKC midfielder Felipe Gutierrez led the way, with the Chilean first finding net in the 12th minute. He made it 1-0 on a transition play, exposing Seattle’s right side before finishing into the far-side netting.
Gutierrez again beat Stefan Frei in the 33rd minute, this team from a penalty kick straight up the middle. The opportunity arose after Video Review judged that Seattle left back Nouhou Tolo fouled SKC winger Gerso.
The Sounders surged back in the second half, though, as US men’s national team forward Jordan Morris recorded a brace of his own. Morris first made it 2-1 in the 46th minute, capping off an end-to-end move that saw Nicolas Lodeiro play the final ball.
But SKC wasn’t content with a one-goal lead, as Erik Hurtado scored the eventual game-winner in the 58th minute. He collected the ball at midfield, touched around Kim Kee-hee and deposited the breakaway to make it 3-1.
Morris then benefited from a breakaway of his own in the 82nd minute, as second-half substitute Handwalla Bwana played the striker through off a turnover. The 24-year-old calmly finished past Tim Melia for his seventh of the year.
Bwana almost found an equalizer in the 90th minute, but the youngster’s curling effort clashed off the post. The missed opportunities ensured SKC’s 3-2 win, a repeat of the scoreline when these two sides met back on May 26.
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- 12′ – SKC – Felipe Gutierrez | WATCH
- 33′ – SKC – Felipe Gutierrez (PK) | WATCH
- 46′ – SEA – Jordan Morris | WATCH
- 58′ – SKC – Erik Hurtado | WATCH
- 82′ – SEA – Jordan Morris | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Seattle has now dropped two straight matches at home, failing to vault above the San Jose Earthquakes or Minnesota United in the Western Conference standings. This latest result comes with Raul Ruidiaz, Victor Rodriguez, Brad Smith and others sidelined through injury. For SKC, this was a massive result that ended a skid of back-to-back losses as they chase a playoff spot in the West. Can Peter Vermes’ group channel a late run, just like Seattle did in years past?
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Erik Hurtado’s game-winner gets the nod here, as SKC received some much-needed production from their center forward. It was also a rare sight, as Hurtado last scored in MLS on Aug. 4, 2018 – a year ago to the day. He was with the Vancouver Whitecaps at the time.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Felipe Gutierrez put in a massive shift in central midfield, one that was highlighted by two goals in the first half. The Designated Player is now at 10 goals and two assists on the year, plugging along as one of the top goal-scoring midfielders in MLS.