Tomas Totland comes to the rescue with an injury time goal as City SC equalizes Sporting KC 3-3

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS – City SC right back Tomas Totland got engaged to his longtime girlfriend, Synne Raa, a few weeks ago and, like many soccer players, had a plan for how he would commemorate the event on the field if he scored a goal to score. goal.

It seemed unlikely he would need a plan, having scored just one goal in the past three seasons. Still, maybe make a heart with his hands. If it was a game at CityPark with his fiancée in the stands, he would point at her. “As a full-back it is not as easy as an attacker,” Totland said a few days before the match. “But when the time comes, I might have some kind of party.”

That moment came very late in City SC’s game against Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday. With City SC trailing 3-2 and seeing what looked like a nice away win about to turn into a frustrating away loss, there was Totland, who beat a defender to the ball in SKC end, over the defensive slide jumped and got the ball back in step and fired the ball home nicely for his first MLS goal to tie the game two minutes into very short stoppage time in the second half to earn a 3-3 draw for City SC to save.

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“At that moment the curtains came down and I forgot where I was,” Totland said with a grin after the match. “I just blacked out and then just slid to my knees. … It was a great relief to achieve that goal, almost more than joy, but I dedicate that goal to her.”

It was a fitting end to a wild night in Kansas, in what is shaping up to be a highly entertaining – and high-scoring rivalry – with both City SC and Sporting Kansas City taking the lead and losing. As befits a draw, there were as many good things as bad, events that needed to be acknowledged and events that City SC hoped would never happen again. The game managed to be both encouraging and disheartening at the same time.

Ties have become the norm for City SC this season. Two-thirds of City SC’s first nine matches have ended in draws, followed by two wins and one defeat. Although City SC is one of only five teams in the league with one loss or less, the six draws keep it in the middle of the pack in the Western Conference, although in the tightly packed West it is not. all so far away from the top. City SC defeated SKC 20-7 and kept it to just three shots on target, all of which went in.

“To dominate away from home was an incredible achievement for the boys,” said City SC coach Bradley Carnell, “but we all feel a bit dejected about the kind of goals we conceded.”

The goals conceded by City SC were the result of a goal by City SC on its own, and another goal that will be recorded as an own goal after goalkeeper Roman Burki got his hands on a shot from a tight angle by Daniel Salloi, only to see the ball diverted just enough to go in via the far post, before City SC’s outside defenders kept Erik Thommy aside to set him up for a breakaway that Burki couldn’t stop.

Asked if each of the goals was annoying in its own way, Carnell said: “For two or three minutes we lose the shape, we lose the momentum of the game. I need to look back at it too, because I’m just as baffled as you are.”

“Teachable moments,” said Klauss, “but how long and how often do we have to make these mistakes to learn?”

The big thing on the encouraging side is that Klauss is clearly back. After scoring his first goal in the series in 1,001 minutes last week, he scored a goal and had an assist this week (and had a touch in the build-up to Totland’s goal). For the goal that made it 2-1 to City SC, Klauss assisted in several ways: he bumped into Willy Agada and sent him away with a strong shoulder blow to win the ball. He then passed it to Celio Pompeu and then ran past him, taking a defender with him as he pointed to a spot on the pitch and told his fellow Brazilian Pompeu in Portuguese to move to the center instead of returning the ball to him. (“That’s a good thing when you speak the same language,” Pompeu said.) Pompeu shot it in from just outside the box.

Klauss’ goal was not the only one in the match. Chris Durkin used his shoulder to win the ball from Tim Leibold before getting it to Rasmus Alm, whose perfectly placed pass allowed Klauss to get one touch in to tie the match at 1-1. After both goals, the Sporting KC players protested to referee Allen Chapman and the VAR looked at them for a long time before deciding that they did not need to be assessed by Chapman.

“I mean, it’s a derby, right?” Carnell said. “And we rise for these moments. And the stakes are high. A lot has happened here in twelve months. So for us it was a natural reaction to want and believe that we can do it. … I think the goals were well taken, well deserved. “But again, we have to go back to the drawing board and give in, even though we have been so bold in the last few games.”

“Maybe a lot of people will argue that this was a foul,” Klauss said of his goal on Agada, “but I think for me it was just a normal match. We bumped into each other and I think it’s a normal duality. I’m happy that I can beat him because I was able to find Celio and then Celio, incredible.”

And just when it looked like City SC would see everything go to waste after Thommy’s goal in the 77th minute, Totland came through. As a goal kick from SKC’s Tim Melia bounced across midfield, Totland started his run down the right. SKC’s Salloi won the ball, but put his ball straight into Totland’s path. He got there a moment ahead of a sliding Leibold, pushed the ball forward and then jumped over the sliding defender in one movement. He took another touch, lined it up and on his next touch he drove it past Melia, who had come out to challenge him and pounded his fists on the turf after the ball went in.

“I actually thought about going past it,” Totland said, “but the goalie came out and opened that space. … It looked like the game was going to get away from us … but we showed again that we don’t give up and that we get a point back.”

“It was great,” said Klauss, assessing Totland’s finish. “I think it was very important for us. Being away in the MLS is always difficult. Getting one point was good for us. And I think we played for the first half and for the game. they had maybe 20 minutes better than us. I don’t think we deserved to lose this game. So I guess we got our reward.

St. Louis City SC players Klauss, Celio Pompeu and Tomas Totland talk to the media about the team’s affiliation with Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, April 20, 2024. Video by Beth O’Malley

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