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Sporting KC advances to face Portland in conference finals

November 11, 2018
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Sporting Kansas City forward Daniel Salloi celebrates after scoring a goal during the second half of a MLS Western Conference semifinals soccer match against Real Salt Lake in Kansas City, Kan., Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018. Sporting KC defeated Real Salt Lake 4-2. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Daniel Salloi scored two goals and Kansas City beat Real Salt Lake 4-2 on Sunday for Sporting’s first playoff win in five years.

It gave Sporting a 5-3 series win on aggregate to advance to face the Portland Timbers in the Western Conference finals, also a two-game series.

Sporting KC scored two early goals in the first half for a 3-1 aggregate lead. Diego Rubio opened the scoring in the 14th minute with an easy finish of Felipe Gutierrez’s unselfish pass. RSL nearly tied it three minutes later but Tim Melia denied Damir Kreilach’s close-range attempt.

After a RSL turnover, Gutierrez rolled it through the middle of the defense and Salloi chipped it over goalkeeper Nick Rimando. Sporting KC’s second-half scoring came on Ilie Sanchez’s penalty kick for a 3-1 lead and Salloi’s tap-in into an empty net in stoppage time.

Sebastian Saucedo scored RSL’s first goal at the 60-minute mark and Damir Kreilach added another 12 minutes later to pull to 3-2. Joao Plata assisted on both goals.

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