KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Sporting Kansas City II and El Paso Locomotive FC both created chances, but the two sides settled for a point apiece after a 0-0 draw on Sunday afternoon at Children’s Mercy Park as SKC II’s John Pulskamp recorded six saves and El Paso’s Adrian Zendejas notched a pair of stops for their respective sides.
The game sprang into life quickly as the teams exchanged chances in the opening 10 minutes. El Paso went close first as Dylan Mares opened up a chance for Jose Aguinaga in the penalty area for a shot to the left corner that was brilliantly saved by Pulskamp. Sporting went close a minute later as Wilson Harris played Cameron Duke into the right side of the penalty area for a lifted finish that got past Zendejas but was cleared to safety by Richie Ryan before it found the net.
Pulskamp was called on again in the ninth minute for another big save as Macauley King’s cross from the right picked out Jose Aaron Gomez for a powerful header toward the bottom-right corner of the net as the visitors threatened again. The game then began to settle, but midway through the first half Sporting threatened again as a crossfield ball from the right by Kaveh Rad sent Enoch Mushagalusa into space on a counterattack that saw him flick the ball back over the head of his defender before curling a shot from 20 yards that hit the crossbar.
Rad also went close to putting the hosts ahead just before the halftime break as his cushioned volley off a free kick by Felipe Hernandez went just wide of the left post. Sporting continued to press for the opening goal as the second half began and Mushagalusa might have done better with a header from close range after a cross from the left by Amadou Dia 10 minutes after the break.
Sporting put the ball in the net in the 64th minute but Mushagalusa’s finish off the rebound after Duke’s shot from the top of the penalty area had been parried by Zendejas was ruled out for offside. El Paso then threatened five minutes later as Leandro Carrijo attempted an ambitious bicycle kick from the left side of the penalty area, but the Brazilian went close to a winner with three minutes to go as his header off a cross from the left by Eder Borelli was denied by Pulskamp. Neither side was able to find a late winner, however, as the points were shared.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
John Pulskamp, Sporting Kansas City II – Pulskamp recorded a six-save shutout including key saves early and late and also made 13 recoveries sweeping up behind his back line.