(Photo credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports)
Gadi Kinda scored in the 84th minute, lifting Sporting Kansas City to a 1-0 victory over Minnesota United Saturday at Allianz Field. It was just the second road victory of the season for Sporting KC.
Kinda, a substitute in the 70th minute, notched his third goal of the season.
Sporting KC (9-12-8, 35 points) pulled into a tie with FC Dallas, who drew Seattle Saturday, for ninth place in the Western Conference. Sporting will have two home matches in the next week as they try to make the MLS Cup playoffs after starting the season 0-7-3.
Minnesota United (9-9-10, 37 points) remained above the red line in the Western Conference, tied with San Jose, but their position is anything but secure.
Sporting picked up the intensity in the second half, probably needing the points more than Minnesota did.
The pace picked up significantly in the final 30 minutes as both teams chased a go-ahead goal. Minnesota nearly took the lead in the 66th minute. Teemu Pukki controlled the ball deep inside the box. He fed it to Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, whose chip shot went just over the crossbar.
Pukki had a chance in the 74th minute when he had a shot inside the 6-yard box, but SKC keeper Tim Melia stopped the shot.
Michael Boxall appeared to put Minnesota up 1-0 in the 79th minute. He perfectly redirected a set piece from Emanuel Reynoso but was ruled offside.
Kinda finally connected for Sporting KC, silencing the sellout crowd.
Neither team was able to mount much offense in the first 30 minutes. Sporting KC owned a majority of the possession, but they couldn't penetrate the back line for any authentic chances. Meanwhile, Minnesota seemed content to wait for infrequent runs deep in SKC territory.
The action picked up in the first third of the first half, but neither goalkeeper had to make more than one save until the final minutes of the half, when SKC keeper Tim Melia punched away a couple of Minnesota missiles.
Sporting held a 59 percent advantage in possession before intermission.
--Field Level Media