Sporting KC earns Western Conference title with 2-1 victory over LAFC

Daniel Salloi scored the go-ahead goal as Sporting Kansas City defeated LAFC to clinch the Western Conference title on Sunday.
William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Daniel Salloi scored the go-ahead goal for the third straight game and 10-man Sporting Kansas City beat Los Angeles FC 2-1 on Sunday for its first conference title since 2012.

Sporting KC (18-8-8) will get a Knockout Round bye, hosting its first home playoff game since 2015. LAFC (16-9-9) was trying to become the first expansion team to finish atop its conference in its inaugural season.

Six of Salloi’s 11 goals this season have been game-winners, helping Kansas City extend its undefeated streak to five games.

Roger Espinoza gave Sporting KC a 1-0 lead at halftime after a shot from distance in the 37th. But Sporting KC was reduced a man in the 62nd for denying an obvious scoring opportunity.

Carlos Vela, who has 15 combined goals and assists on the road this season, converted the penalty kick to tie it.