HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 11: Minnesota United defender Ike Opara (3) sends the ball down the pitch during the MLS soccer match between the Minnesota United FC and Houston Dynamo at BBVA Stadium on September 11, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire)

Gadi Kinda scored the only non-own goal as Sporting Kansas City defeated Minnesota United FC 2-1 Friday night in St. Paul, Minn.

Sporting KC (5-1-0, 15 points), which won for the first time in five tries in Minnesota, extended its lead atop Major League Soccer’s Western Conference by beating the second-place Loons (3-1-2, 11 points).

 

Kinda opened the scoring in the 12th minute off an assist from Jaylin Lindsey. Kinda made a run down the center of the penalty box and was able to slightly deflect Lindsey’s cross from the left wing past Minnesota goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh and inside the right post.

Minnesota tied the score in the 32nd minute as Ethan Finlay’s 15-yard shot from the right wing deflected off Lindsey and behind Sporting KC goalkeeper Tim Melia for an own goal.

Sporting KC regained the lead in the 55th minute on a Minnesota own goal after a turnover at midfield.

SKC worked the ball to Johnny Russell, who was charging down the left wing. Russell nearly reached the end line before sending a cross into the middle that deflected off Loons defender Michael Boxall inside the 6-yard box and into an open net.

Melia made three saves for Sporting KC. He was tested early in both halves, charging off his line to smother a 10-yard attempt by Finlay in the third minute and diving to deflect Hassani Dotson’s header wide of the left post in the 48th.

Ranjitsingh, making just his third career MLS appearance after Tyler Miller underwent season-ending hip surgery, also made three saves.

Sporting KC avenged a 2-1 defeat to the Loons in the group stage of the MLS is Back Tournament last month outside Orlando, Fla.

In that game, SKC led 1-0 until allowing two goals in second-half stoppage time, the first on an own goal and the second on Khiry Shelton’s 97th-minute strike.

The Loons again played without reigning MLS Defender of the Year Ike Opara, who is out with an undisclosed injury.

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