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Sporting KC dominates in first US Open Cup match

Sporting KC forward Gerso Fernandes. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Sporting KC forward Gerso Fernandes. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /
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It was a full on rout for Sporting KC as they dominated Minnesota United FC in the opening match of the 2017 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament.

Sporting KC overcame a slow start to completely dominate Minnesota United FC in their first match of the 2017 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament. Sporting turned things around as halftime approached and then never looked back. The end result was a 4-0 victory that will send SKC on to the next round of the US Open cup.

It certainly didn’t appear like Sporting would be the dominant team early on. KC had difficulty handling an early press by Minnesota that had man fans on edge. SKC surrendered a pair of corner kicks early on, but fortunately nothing came of either one.

Things slowly started to shift, but it was in the 43rd minute that Sporting KC really appeared to come alive. Ike Opara used his superior size and leaping ability to head a ball past the goalie on a Graham Zusi corner kick. Just a few minutes later, Gerso Fernandes would find the back of the net on a rebound to give SKC a 2-0 lead going into the half.

The goals at the end of the first half were apparently what Sporting KC needed as they dominated the entire second half. Sporting tacked on a pair of goals in the second half to erase all doubt. That included a well placed shot by 20 year old Daniel Salloi, his first goal as a member of SKC.

Player Of The Match

A. . D. Sporting KC. IKE OPARA

I mentioned Ike Opara’s goal earlier, but that really doesn’t do it justice. This was a beautiful header that only the Sporting defender was going to get to. Just a second late and this ball would have been punched out. Instead, it found the back of the net and set things rolling.

Apart from that goal, Ike Opara was also the expected force on the defensive side of things. Minnesota would finish the night with only a single shot, and no shots on goal. Opara played a huge role in that as the Minnesota attack had no answer for him.

Coming Up Next

More from Sporting Kansas City

Sporting KC obviously moves on in the US Open Cup tournament. We don’t have the details on that match until after the Round of 16 Draw. There is no doubt that this club wants to reclaim the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup that means a lot to Kansas City.

In the meantime, Sporting KC will continue their MLS play. Sporting still holds the lead in the Western Conference and looks to push their advantage. This is a team that clearly has aspirations to rack up the achievements and titles. With the talent and depth of the roster, they are certainly a team to be feared right now.

Of course the biggest thing here might be the fact that Sporting KC is keeping their momentum going. Now is a perfect time for them to create some cushion in the standings.

Things are going good for Sporting KC after a disappointing 2016 campaign. There is still plenty of season left to play, but SKC is looking like they are ready to handle it. If they can keep playing the kind of soccer fans were treated to tonight, there is no doubt they will be a tough draw for anyone.