KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Sporting Kansas City pulled off one of the greatest upsets in MLS history as an 8-seed by sweeping 1-seed St. Louis City SC in the 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Last Sunday, Sporting shocked STL on the road by beating them 4-1 in Game 1 of Round One.
In Game 2, Sporting defeated St. Louis 2-1 on Sunday to advance to the Western Conference semifinals.
At the end of a physical first half that saw Sporting dominate possession at 63% with 19 combined fouls (eight for Sporting) and three combined yellow cards (one for SKC), left back Logan Ndenbe knocked a right-footed shot home from the left side of the box to give Sporting a 1-0 lead at the half.
Striker Alan Pulido got the assist on the goal on Ndenbe’s second goal of the postseason.
In the 73rd minute, forward Johnny Russell got a through pass to midfielder Gadi Kinda, who passed a ball through a defender’s legs to connect with forward Dániel Sallói for the second goal of the game.
Center back Dany Rosero left the game with an injury, and St. Louis scored right after he left, with Célio Pompeu scoring on a left-footed shot from outside the box in the 86th minute to draw the game closer at 2-1.
STL outshot Sporting (15-8) and created more chances (11-8) but had fewer shots on target (2-4).
In 12 minutes of stoppage time, Sporting held strong by blocking several shots and keeping pressure on STL.
Sporting has won the inaugural season series with their new cross-state rival by beating them in three out of the five matchups, including two playoff wins.
Sporting will now wait to face the winner of 4-seed Houston Dynamo FC and 5-seed Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference semifinals that will begin on November 25-26.