Sporting Kansas City, St. Louis CITY deliver another classic: "A great derby"


It looks like Year Two of the Sporting Kansas City-St. Louis CITY SC rivalry could get even crazier than the first.

After a memorable 2023 season that saw both sides score a combined 20 goals in five matches, SKC and CITY played to a wild 3-3 draw Saturday night at Children's Mercy Park in their first showdown of 2024.

"I thought our fans were great here. They pushed us all game long and for us to dominate away from home, it was an incredible performance for the boys,” St. Louis head coach Bradley Carnell said post-match of his side's last-gasp road point that came courtesy of a 92nd-minute goal from Norwegian defender Tomas Totland.

“But we all feel a little bit dejected about the type of goals we gave up. From a neutral point of view, I thought it was a good experience, a great derby. But there’s something a little bit upsetting [about the result]”.

Back-and-forth affair

Seeking just their second home win of the season, SKC jumped out to a 1-0 lead through Alan Pulido (17’).

“Good to score first,” praised head coach Peter Vermes after the game. “That part was good.”

But Kansas City continued their bad habit of giving up home leads. It was more of the same against St. Louis, with João Klauss (31’) and Célio Pompeu (45+3’) flipping the game on its head to send the visitors into the halftime break with a 2-1 advantage.

SKC turned the result back around with the help of a Roman Bürki own goal created by Dániel Sallói (65’). Then Erik Thommy (77’) quickly capitalized on the increasing momentum to give SKC a potentially game-winning 3-2 lead.

“We came out in a very good way in the second half to get ourselves in a great position. We climb back into the game, which is great,” Vermes stated. “I think it was entertaining.”

Before SKC could see out the match, however, Totland topped off the derby excitement with a stoppage-time equalizer.

Battle to the end

"It’s a derby and we get up for these moments,” Carnell said after the final whistle. “There’s a lot on the line. There’s a lot that’s happened here over the course of 12 months, so for us it was a natural reaction to want to, to believe that we can. We knew we were good coming into this game and we showed it for many parts of the game."

Meanwhile, Kansas City are now winless in five of six games at Children's Mercy Park in which they've jumped out to a 1-0 lead.

“I think you guys are all focused on that and I think you miss the game because when you watch games like this, they’re entertaining,” Vermes said of his side's home woes. “Do we want to be on that side of it? No…I think we’re getting better at and I think we’ll continue to do so over the course of the season. You guys are worried about it, I’m not.

“I think both teams want to win so the games are intense which is good. I think it’s good for both clubs. I think it’s good for our league,” Vermes added. “I’m sure it will continue as the rest of the season goes on and years to come.”