Sporting Kansas City closed out the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League group stage with a 3-1 home win over Central FC of Trinidad at Children's Mercy Park. Cameron Porter, Nansel Selbol and Connor Hallisey orchestrated the comeback for the MLS side after finishing the first half down by a goal.
Sporting, already eliminated from the competition after falling to the Vancouver Whitecaps, came close to scoring early on through Hallisey and Nuno Coelho. Still, it was the visitors who struck first through Jem Gordon. In the 43rd minute, Sean De Silva found the forward, who was kept onside by Ike Opara inside the box and buried the ball into the net.
The home side came out firing on all cylinders in the second half and were justly rewarded in the 49th minute. Porter outpaced the Central FC defense after collecting a long pass from Tomas Granitto, leveling the score with a low shot. Selbol scored the game-winner in the 55th minute after creating some space and shooting from outside the box. Hallisey would put it out of reach after converting his first goal for Sporting KC from the penalty spot in injury time.
With the result, Sporting Kansas City will finish in second place in Group C. The Whitecaps, who maintained a perfect record through the group stage, will move on to the next round of the competition.
- 43' - CFC - Jem Gordon (Sean De Silva)
- 49' - SKC - Cameron Porter (Tomas Granitto)
- 55' - SKC - Nansel Selbol (Connor Hallisey)
- 90'+1 - SKC - Connor Hallisey (PK)
- Full box score
- A NIGHT OF FIRSTS: Hallisey, Porter and Selbol all scored their first ever goals for Sporting Kansas City. For Selbol, it was also his first game for the club, as he moved up for the night from Sporting's USL side, Swope Park Rangers.
- FOCUS ON DECISION DAY AND THE USL CUP FINAL: Despite the CCL disappointment this year, there's plenty of activity for the Sporting organization this week. Sporting KC and the Swope Park Rangers will play their biggest games of the year on Sunday. A Decision Day win against San Jose would clinch a playoff berth for Sporting. Meanwhile, the Rangers will play the New York Red Bulls II in the 2016 USL Cup Final that same day.
- A DYNASTY TAKING SHAPE IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: Since coming to existence in 2012, Central FC has quickly become the team to beat in Trinidad and Tobago. The Sharks have won two straight TT Pro League titles and currently have a perfect record in league play this season.
- SKC: Sunday vs. San Jose Earthquakes (4 pm ET, MLS LIVE)