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2019 Major League Soccer, Regular Season
  • Darren Mattocks (19' PEN)
  • Gianluca Busio (62')

FC Cincinnati hang on for draw against Sporting Kansas City

Sporting Kansas City and FC Cincinnati played to a 1-1 draw in the first-ever match between the two clubs Sunday afternoon at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati had a free kick just outside the box in the final seconds of stoppage time, but Leonardo Bertone's attempt sailed just over the bar.

Sporting Kansas City (2-1-2, 8 points) is now 9-3-4 all-time in inaugural meetings against MLS expansion clubs, beginning with the dawn of the expansion era in 2005.

FC Cincinnati (2-2-2, 8 points) jumped on the scoreboard first in the 19th minute when Roland Lamah drew a yellow-card foul in the box against Andreu Fontas. Darren Mattocks converted the penalty kick -- the first in FC Cincinnati club history. As backup goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas, making his MLS debut, dove to his right, Mattocks fired it low and to Zendejas' left.

Because of a late Thursday night match -- a 5-0 defeat to Liga MX club Monterrey in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals -- Sporting KC was playing with mostly a backup squad. Only Fontas, Johnny Russell and Ilie Sanchez were regular starters in the 11.

New arrival and former Arsenal player Gedion Zelalem made his his debut for SKC. Fontas had started the first two MLS matches before missing a couple because of injury.

Seth Sinovic, a regular starter, replaced Rodney Wallace at defender in the 27th minute because of an injury to Wallace.

Felipe Gutierrez subbed in in the 56th minute, and Sporting's offense came to life. Immediately, SKC was on the front foot, with one chance after another. When 16-year-old Gianluca Busio broke past FC Cincinnati keeper Spencer Richey and right-footed it into the net in the 62nd minute, the score was tied.

Both clubs had chances moving forward, but neither team could dent the net the rest of the way. Cincinnati appeared to regain the lead in the 84th minute when Nick Hagglund headed a shot past Zendejas, but the flag was up.

Cincinnati nearly got on the board in the first minute as Kenny Saief found the ball at his feet in front of the net, but his shot was defended by Zendejas.

Since suffering a 4-1 road loss at Seattle Sounders FC in its MLS debut, FC Cincinnati has rebounded to earn eight points in its last five games.

Major League Soccer Standings

Major League Soccer Standings