Sporting KC beats St. Louis 4-1 in best-of-3 opener

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Rémi Walter, right, and defender Logan Ndenbe celebrate after Walter scored a goal during the first half of an MLS playoff soccer match against St. Louis City Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

ST. LOUIS — Logan Ndenbe scored his first goal as a professional to help Sporting Kansas City beat St. Louis City 4-1 on a rain-soaked Sunday night in Match 1 of their best-of-3 first-round series in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Kansas City, which scored just three goals in its first 10 games this season and beat San Jose on penalty kicks in the Wild Card game, can advance to the conference semifinals with a win in Match 2 at home on Nov. 5.

St. Louis’s Tim Parker answered when he cleaned up a corner kick from Indiana Vassilev that was deflected by the Sporting defense to make it 1-1 moments later.

Rémi Walter scored in the 36th minute to give Sporting KC the lead for good and Gadi Kinda added a goal in the 39th to make it 3-1. Walter scored when Kinda’s shot from the left side of the box was kick-saved by goalkeeper Roman Bürki but the ball rolled directly to Walter at the top of the box and he threaded a roller through four defenders and past Bürki into the net.

Kinda’s corner kick was headed by Alan Pulido at the near post to Dániel Sallói, who tapped in from point-blank range to cap the scoring in the 61st minute.

St. Louis, which has lost three games in a row for the first time this season, is the eighth expansion team to reach the playoffs in its inaugural season and the first since Inter Miami and Nashville accomplished the feat in 2020.


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