Last night’s clash between Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake was one for the ages as a stoppage time goal by Ike Opara handed Sporting a 2-1 victory before a sold-out Rio Tinto Stadium.
Robbie Findley gave RSL the lead early in the second half before a skirmish in Salt Lake’s box resulted in a Soony Saad volley bringing Kansas City level. The fiercely fought contest looked destined to end in a draw but Opara’s 96th minute header silenced the Rio Tinto crowd as Sporting claimed all three points.
The match between the first place teams from the Western and Eastern conferences started with a bang as RSL defender Chris Wingert plowed into Kei Kamara, leaving the Sierra Leone-American in a heap. Wingert was shown a yellow card for his role in the play, which would be the first of seven cautions handed out on the night.
The deadlock was broken in the 56th minute when Sporting keeper Jimmy Nielsen misplayed Javier Morales’ free kick floated into the box. Nielsen’s tipped effort went right to Findley, who did well to keep his balance and head the ball into the net.
Ten minutes later, Wingert was issued his marching orders after Saad cleverly knicked the ball past the full-back, who pulled the Sporting forward down by his shirt.
Within a minute of the sending, Sporting were level after RSL failed to clear the ball from their box and Claudio Bieler headed to Saad, who went horizontal to volley the ball into the back of the net.
With time winding down, RSL looked to have a point in hand before Sporting winger Graham Zusi curled in a beautiful cross that Opara rose high to snap into the back of the net.
The victory gives Kansas City a four point gap over Montreal at the top of the Eastern Conference while the loss means RSL’s Western Conference lead over the Portland Timbers is down to three points.
Both clubs return to action next Saturday with RSL facing a difficult away match at New York while Sporting head to Montreal for a clash with the Impact.
Liverpool came out with a furious pace in Saturday’s UEFA Champions League final, but the Reds suffered a massive blow heading into halftime despite their match with Real Madrid remaining scoreless.
Leading goalscorer Mohamed Salah was guided off the pitch by the Reds training staff, after suffering an apparent shoulder injury at the half hour mark.
Meanwhile, Real had its own injury scary just minutes after when right back Dani Carvajal left the game with a leg injury.
The Reds had their share of early chances, including Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s blast that forced a quality save out of Keylor Navas, but the Premier League side couldn’t break the deadlock.
Real seemed to benefit significantly from Salah’s absence though, and Los Blancos nearly took full advantage in the latter stages of the first half.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s close-range header was saved well by Loris Karius, before Karim Benzema’s follow-up attempt went in the back of the net, but was ruled offside.
45 more minutes to play.
Mohamed Salah‘s involvement in the UEFA Champions League final lasted less than 30 minutes.
Salah, Liverpool’s leading goalscorer with 44 goals in all competitions this season, landed heavily on his left shoulder after a challenge with Sergio Ramos.
The Egyptian forward tried to get up but couldn’t shake off the injury and was in tears as he walked off the pitch in the European final.
Ramos will no doubt receive plenty of questions as to his role in Salah’s injury as the Spanish defender made sure Liverpool’s main man hit the floor hard and locked his right arm in during the duel.
All of the focus will now be on Salah to see if he can be fit enough to play for Egypt at the World Cup this summer.
Salah is the main man for the Pharaohs, as he helped them qualify for their first World Cup since 1990.
Pro Soccer Talk takes a look at some of the day’s biggest transfer stories, including Manchester United possibly parting ways with one of its most-known stars.
[ MORE: PST ranks all 23 current MLS managers ]
Paul Pogba‘s return to Old Trafford has been anything but routine, and it appears his relationship with manager Jose Mourinho is severely damaged.
Don Balon suggests that United would be willing to include Pogba in a deal that sends the France international to Real Madrid, along with a large transfer sum, assuming Madrid parts ways with Toni Kroos.
The Red Devils paid over $118 million to sign Pogba back from Juventus, however, the midfielder has struggled to influence United with just 11 league goals over two seasons.
Staying in Manchester, Pep Guardiola isn’t done building his stacked roster.
Mundo Deportivo is reporting that Guardiola and Manchester City are readying a bid of over $90 million to sign Real Madrid and Spain international Isco.
Isco, 26, has become one of the biggest creators in Real’s attack over recent seasons, however, the Spaniard is reportedly growing tired of the Santiago Bernabeu.
Finally, Borussia Dortmund’s interest in Michy Batshuayi was made known this past season, and the German giants are prepared to bring the Belgium international in on a full-time basis.
Dortmund is currently in negotiations with Chelsea to make Batshuayi’s deal a permanent one in Bundesliga.
During his time with the German side, Batshuayi totaled nine goals in all competitions, including seven in league play.
This is it. The curtain comes down on the domestic season in Europe as Real Madrid and Liverpool clash in the UEFA Champions League final in Kiev, Ukraine.
[ LIVE: Champions League final ]
In sunny conditions in the Ukrainian capital, the two highest-scoring teams in the UCL this season meet with Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah the danger men.
For Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid, they’re aiming for a third-straight European title which would hammer home their dominance on the European stage once again. Real seeking their 13th title to extend their own record of European trophies is a daunting prospect for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool…
That said, with Mohamed Salah having the season of dreams the Anfield club believe destiny is playing its part once again as they’re in their first European final since 2007. Klopp has lost all five of his major finals as a manager and surely his luck has to change some time soon.
Click on the link above to follow all of the action from Kiev live, while we will have reaction and analysis right here on Pro Soccer Talk.