Sporting Kansas City and Austin FC split the points from a 1-1 draw Saturday afternoon at Children's Mercy Park, as a second-half equalizer from SKC's Daniel Salloi canceled out a first-half opener from Austin's Cecilio Dominguez.

The match was far more open than the final scoreline indicated, as Sporting racked up 32 shots and four expected goals (xG). Austin couldn't convert some quality chances of their own, as neither side managed to find a late winner upon returning from the June international break.

Sporting controlled most of the early action, but Austin FC took the lead in the 26th minute with an opener against the run of play from Dominguez. The Paraguayan Designated Player collected a feed from Zan Kolmanic near the top of the area, took one touch to set himself up, and rolled a perfectly-placed shot past the outstretched arm of diving SKC goalkeeper Tim Melia to give the visitors a first-half lead.

Sporting had two golden opportunities to level before halftime, but were denied both times by stellar goalkeeping from Austin FC backstop Brad Stuver. The first came in the 34th minute off a close-range shot from Roger Espinoza, but Stuver was up to the task, denying Espinoza's left-footed effort with a reaction save. Stuver then made another phenomenal save in the 43rd minute, going full extension to deflect away a side-foot volley attempt from Salloi that looked certain to equalize.

Dominguez nearly added a second in the 57th minute at the backend of a counterattack that ended with a chipped attempt on goal, but Melia made a point-blank save of his own to keep the hosts within one goal. Sporting then had a potential penalty shout just minutes after that, arguing that a ball in the Austin FC box went off the hand of defender Julio Cascante before a clearance. But head referee Robert Sibiga wouldn't heed the calls from the Sporting players or the home crowd for a spot-kick.

The hosts would find their leveler, though, courtesy of a 71st-minute rebound finish from Salloi. Stuver saved a deflected shot off the boot of Gianluca Busio before an onrushing Johnny Russell arrived, but the ball landed directly in the path of Salloi, who ripped home a laser finish into the open net.

Russell had a great look at a potential winner in the 77th minute, but was thwarted by Stuver once again, as the backstop came off his line to block a breakaway attempt from the Scottish attacker. Austin had chances of their own at a go-ahead tally, twice scuffing shots down the left that were spearheaded by runs into space for Manny Perez. The second saw Rodney Redes pull a shot wide right when facing an open net.

Busio had the last big chance via a free kick from a dangerous spot in second-half stoppage time, but the homegrown midfielder fired his attempt into the Austin wall.

Goals

  • 26' - ATX - Cecilio Dominguez | WATCH
  • 71' - SKC - Daniel Salloi | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Head coach Josh Wolff would like to see his team be less wasteful in front of goal, but it's a positive result for Austin FC in a hostile venue against an opponent near the top of the Western Conference table. Austin have navigated their tough early-season schedule that included eight straight on the road. Now, they can look forward to the grand opening of Q2 Stadium next weekend. Sporting's three-match win streak is over and they're left lamenting how none of their chances resulted in a winner, even as this result brings them within one point of the Seattle Sounders for first place in the West. Due to international duty, they were without star striker Alan Pulido (Mexico) and midfielder Gadi Kinda (Israel).
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Austin FC can thank Stuver's ridiculous saves for leaving Children's Mercy Park with a point. His 85th-minute double denial was arguably the most crucial of the bunch.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: It has to be Stuver, who has been lights out for Austin all season long. His nine saves were a career-high.

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