The last Major League Soccer team remaining in the Concacaf Champions League extended their run a little bit longer as Sporting Kansas City advanced to the semifinals following a 3-0 win over Independiente at Children’s Mercy Park Thursday night.
Sporting advanced 4-2 on aggregate and will meet Monterrey in the semifinals beginning in early April.
After waves of attacks thwarted by Independiente goalkeeper Jose Guerra’s breathtaking saves over the first 73 minutes, Krisztian Nemeth finally broke through on a stunning volley from the edge of the six-yard box.
Botond Barath latched onto a Johnny Russell corner kick and headed to Nemeth, who spun and fired home the only goal Sporting would need in the 74th minute.
Roger Espinoza added an 81st-minute insurance goal after Russell received a low back-post cross from Gerso and smoothly settled for a sliding Espinoza.
Nemeth then slid in at the edge of the six-yard box and chipped a Gerso cross into the net to settle nerves at Children’s Mercy Park.
- 74’ — SKC — Krisztian Nemeth
- 81’ — SKC — Roger Espinoza
- 86’ — SKC — Krisztian Nemeth
- THE BIG PICTURE: The pressure was on Sporting KC to get a goal, just one goal, and it seemed the storyline would be about missed chances and frustration with a sidebar of MLS going 0-for-4 in the CCL quarterfinals. Instead, SKC are on to the semifinals for the first time in history.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: For a while, it seemed like that goal would never come and Guerra would be the hero for the Panamanians. But then Nemeth came up with a stroke of brilliance that opened the floodgates and secured a date with Monterrey.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Russell was a threat throughout and although he didn’t score, he had a pair of assists.
- SKC: Sunday, March 17 at Colorado Rapids (9 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, on DAZN in Canada)