KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Three players — two of them defenders — scored their first goals of the season, Tim Melia had his eighth shutout and Sporting Kansas City moved back into first place in the Western Conference with a 3-0 win over Minnesota United on Saturday.
Ike Opara, Jimmy Medranda and Saad Abdul-Salaam scored and Melia only had to make one save as Sporting KC (7-4-4) improved to 6-0-1 at home, outscoring opponents 16-2. Melia also had eight shutouts in each of the last two seasons after he was signed by KC.
In the second minute of stoppage time in the first half, Opara, a defender, put in a low shot from distance that froze Minnesota keeper Bobby Shuttleworth after he started moving the wrong direction.
Medranda nodded in a shot in the 54th minute after Soony Saad sent a shot off the underside of the crossbar. Players seemed to stop awaiting a foul call and then didn’t react to the ball, when Saad’s shot appeared to land behind the line. Saad could be credited with the goal after review.
Abdul-Salaam, also a defender, finished it off in the 87th minute, finding a loose ball as he was unmarked in the box.
Minnesota (4-8-1)out-shot 27-7, won the first meeting 2-0 at home and is now 0-5-2 on the road.