KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Indy Eleven snapped a three-game losing streak as Nicky Law and Gordon Wild both scored in a 2-1 victory against Sporting Kansas City II on Sunday evening at Children’s Mercy Park.
The game opened patiently as both sides worked to find an opening, but a miscue by Sporting gave Indy both the first good look at goal and the opening goal of the game in the 19th minute. Wild took advantage of a poor pass by the hosts to spring Indy on a counterattack that found Ayoze on the left side, and the Spaniard delivered a first-time cross that set up Law for his first goal for the Boys in Blue.
It took only 68 seconds for Sporting to respond, however, as Enoch Mushagalusa got past his marker as he broke onto a pass by Christian Duke into the left flank before holding possession in at the goal line. The Congolese winger then cut past a covering defender onto his right foot as he moved into the penalty area and fired a low shot into the right corner of the net to level.
Indy was twice denied regaining the lead before halftime from corner kicks, with Karl Ouimette’s powerful header producing an equally good save from SKC II goalkeeper John Pulskamp in the 25th minute. Pulskamp came up big again six minutes later as Wild’s corner kick from the left was flicked on at the near post by Manual Arteaga, allowing Neveal Hackshaw to volley on frame, only for Pulskamp to make another big save.
The hosts also had chances to take a lead to the break, with the first coming in the 42nd minute as Rojay Smith drove a shot toward the left corner that produced a good save by Indy goalkeeper Robert Edwards. A misplaced pass in midfield also opened up a chance for SKC II three minutes later as Jake Davis forced a low save from Edwards, while in stoppage time Mushagalusa almost added his second of the game with a powerful shot that rang the crossbar moments before the halftime whistle.
Indy regained its lead five minutes into the second half, however, as Wild struck after Arteaga played a crisp first-time pass forward into his path in the right channel, allowing the playmaker to round the goalkeeper to his right and finish cleanly from an acute angle.
The visitors almost added to their lead off another corner kick in the 56th minute as they held play in the penalty area, allowing Arteaga to fire a first-time shot which Pulskamp turned over the crossbar. Mushagalusa then got in behind the Indy defense three minutes later after a good pass by Davis into the right side of the penalty area, but Edwards came off his line well to block the shot behind for a corner.
Sporting created another chance in the 66th minute as Rojay Smith cut inside from the left side and fired a shot that curled just wide of the right post. Smith threatened again with seven minutes to go with a shot from the top-right edge of the penalty area that curled wide of the left post, while Mushagalusa had a chance smothered by Edwards in second-half stoppage time as the hosts looked to pull level.
The hosts had one final chance deep in stoppage time as Kayden Pierre cut a low cross from the right back to the near post for Bailey Sparks, who sent a first-time shot on target that Edwards smothered, but that would prove to be the last chance for Sporting as Indy came away with all three points.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Gordon Wild, Indy Eleven – Wild scored what proved to be the game-winning goal and also played a role in the side’s opening tally while also notching two key passes and completing 19 of 26 passes overall
IND – Nicky Law (Ayoze) 19’
SKC – Enoch Mushagalusa (Christian Duke) 20’
IND – Gordon Wild (Manuel Arteaga) 50’