Memphis 901 FC moves into playoff spot with win over Sporting Kansas City II

Corinne S Kennedy
Memphis Commercial Appeal
View Comments

Memphis 901 FC fought back from an early deficit to notch another win at AutoZone Park Wednesday night and keep themselves in playoff contention. 

Franchise all-time leading scorer Kyle Murphy tallied two goals — his 16th and 17th of the season — to power 901 FC to a 3-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City II. Roland Lamah scored for the second time this season to cap off the victory. 

Last match:After a big win at FC Tulsa, here’s where Memphis 901 FC is in the playoff race

The win put Memphis 10-8-8 on the season and in 4th place in the division — the last playoff spot — with seven matches left to play. Memphis has two games in hand on 5th place OKC Energy FC and three games in hand on 6th place Atlanta United 2. 

Kansas City striker Enoch Mushagalusa struck first, scoring in the 17th minute on a counterattack after Memphis failed to convert an open goal opportunity. 

Memphis 901 FC's Kyle Murphy drives down field past Sporting Kansas City II defender Jake Davis during their match at AutoZone Park on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021.

However, Murphy equalized three minutes later, heading home a Kadeem Dacres cross for his 16th goal and Dacres’ 6th assist of the season. 

There were several scares for each side in the first 20 minutes of the second half. But Memphis’ game-winning goal didn’t come until Roland Lamah earned a penalty in the 73’ when he was tackled in the box by Kansas City goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh. The challenge also earned McIntosh a yellow card.

Memphis 901 FC's fans celebrate Kyle Murphy's game-tying goal to knot the score at 1-1 against the Sporting Kansas City II during their match at AutoZone Park on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021.

Murphy neatly put the penalty into the bottom left corner for his 17th goal of the season. McIntosh dove the right way, but couldn’t get to the ball in time. 

Lamah put the final nail in the coffin deep into stoppage time when he got on the end of a through ball from Michael Salazar, dribbled around McIntosh and slotted the ball into the goal. 

Memphis 901 FC's Kyle Murphy, right, celebrates his goal with teammate Laurent Kissiedou during their match against Sporting Kansas City II at AutoZone Park on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021.

Coach Ben Pirmann said the team was still nursing several injuries — John Berner, Mitch Guitar and Francis Atuahene are out for the season, with several other players questionable. But he said having Lamah back to full fitness was a huge boost. 

"The thing people don't see is his attitude and effort, his professionalism, his energy every day in training...it's infectious and pushes guys and makes guys play better," he said. 

Memphis 901 FC's Alan Winn dribbles the ball down field against Sporting Kansas City II during their match at AutoZone Park on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021.
View Comments