In a game Sporting Kansas City needed to win to keep their playoff hopes alive, Erik Hurtado provided the needed spark, scoring the winner two minutes from full time in a 1-0 victory over Minnesota United as part of Heineken Rivalry Week Thursday night at Children’s Mercy Park.
Sporting asked most of the questions, playing the match on the front foot, but quality scoring chances were lacking. That is, until Johnny Russell slipped a ball Into space and Hurtado cut in front of Michael Boxall, taking a touch around an onrushing Vito Mannone and tapping into the open net.
The Loons came close to the opening goal in the 33rd minute when Tim Melia had to make a double save, first parrying aside a Hassani Dotson shot from distance and denying Mason Toye on the rebound.
Four minutes later, Graham Zusi challenged Mannone, who pushed his attempt over the crossbar for a corner kick.
Both teams made attacking substitutions inside the final half hour, with Young Designated Player Thomas Chacon making his debut for the Loons and Darwin Quintero entering three minutes later. Abu Danladi was Adrian Heath’s final change, replacing Toye in the final 10 minutes.
Ilie Sanchez and Gerso came off the SKC bench three minutes apart and Gerso played a dangerous ball across the edge of the six-yard box intended for Hurtado. But Boxall slid in to intercept and Mannone took care of the rest.
Hurtado, though, had the last laugh, and the only goal to secure three massive home points.
- 88’ — SKC — Erik Hurtado | WATCH
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
: Boxall got the better of Hurtado for much of the match and was on his way to a Man of the Match nod. But Hurtado would not be denied, scoring maybe the most important goal of the year for SKC.
- SKC: Saturday, August 31 vs. Houston Dynamo (8:30 PM ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, on DAZN in Canada)
- MIN: Tuesday, August 27 at Atlanta United, US Open Cup final (8:00 PM ET | ESPN+)