Daniel Salloi and Gerso Fernandes each scored second-half goals, and goalkeeper Tim Melia made two big saves late, leading Sporting Kansas City to a 2-0 road win over Atlanta United on Wednesday in a battle between the top teams in the MLS standings at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan was issued a red card in the 33rd minute after a desperation tackle attempt took down Khiry Shelton, who had broken free at the top of the box. Paul Christensen replaced Guzan, and Atlanta United was forced to finish the match with 10 men.
In the 67th minute, Salloi received a pass from Ilie Sanchez near the top left corner of the Atlanta box. Salloi made two touches toward the middle to get in range and blasted a bending ball inside the right post.
Sanchez also had the assist on Fernandes’ clincher in the 87th minute, as Sporting K.C. ended United’s eight-game unbeaten streak and handed Atlanta its first home loss this season.
Before Guzan was sent off, United had created more quality opportunities. Josef Martinez had several good looks and finished one from inside the box, only to have it called back after video review showed he was offside, despite a deflection by a Sporting defender.
Atlanta had five shots on target in the first half. Sporting KC had none.
Despite being a man down, Atlanta United managed to create more chances in the second half. Melia made diving saves on two dangerous penalty kicks by Atlanta’s Kevin Kratz in the final 15 minutes.
Melia finished with eight saves for Sporting K.C., which won for their third time in the past four matches. Christensen had Atlanta’s lone save.
Atlanta, which sits atop the Eastern Conference table at 7-2-1, heads to Orlando City on Saturday. Sporting K.C. (7-2-2) is in first place in the Western Conference and has a week off before visiting Minnesota United on May 20.
—Field Level Media