Sporting Kansas City eliminates No. 1 seed St. Louis City


Sporting KC eliminates top seed St. Louis in MLS Cup playoffs

Sporting KC advances to the MLS Cup playoff semifinals after Daniel Salloi's winner seals a 2-1 win in the second leg.

Logan Ndenbe scored in the first half and Daniel Salloi added one in the second as Sporting Kansas City defeated St. Louis City SC 2-1 in the second match of their first-round MLS Cup Playoff series on Sunday night at Children's Mercy Park.

Eighth-seeded Sporting KC swept the best-of-three series and will advance to play the winner between the Houston Dynamo and Real Salt Lake in the next round.

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Kansas City had taken the first match of the series 4-1 on the road.

St. Louis City became the only first-year MLS club to ever clinch the top spot in its conference before the team's season came to an end Sunday.

St. Louis got a late goal Celio Martins in the 86th minute, but it was not enough.

The visitors were the aggressors in the first 15 minutes, but couldn't get any momentum going. Sporting KC controlled the possession for the last 30 minutes of the first half and appeared ready to head to the locker room frustrated with the 0-0 scoreline.

Then, in the first-half stoppage time, Salloi fed Alan Pulido in the box, who redirected it to Ndenbe as he fired it past a sprawling Roman Burki.

With St. Louis trailing 1-0 and applying pressure, Tim Melia made a spectacular save. Joao Klauss redirected a shot from outside the box, but a diving Melia kept it from going in the net.

Salloi doubled the Sporting KC lead in the 73rd minute on a fast break. Gadi Kinda collected a feed at the top of the box and beat the closing defender with a pass to his left, where Salloi one-timed it past Burki.

The second-half action was mostly controlled by St. Louis as it had far more scoring opportunities. But other than Martins' highlight-reel shot from about 45 yards out, they could not get anything past Melia.

Burki finished with two saves for St. Louis, while Melia made one save for Kansas City.