On Sunday, Sporting KC took on the New York Red Bulls, three days after a heartbreaking exit in the Concacaf Champions League. Sporting took the lead early on, but would eventually find themselves in a 2-1 hole. In the final minutes of the match, the 16-year old, Gianluca Busio scored his third goal of the year to keep Sporting at a tie. The match would end in a 2-2 draw.
Early on for Sporting it looked as if they may steamroll their competition like they have done at home for most of the year. After multiple missed shots early on Sporting was still at a 0-0 deadlock until the 24 minute. After midfielder Graham Zusi collected the ball on the sideline to throw in, forward Krisztian Nemeth found forward Johnny Russell open who raced past his defenders and sailed the ball into the net to give Sporting a 1-0 lead.
For most of the first half, New York was not able to conjure up many looks. Early on in the second half, they got even with Sporting. A little while later, New York would give themselves the lead after a diving header from a beautiful cross that went around two Sporting KC players.
For the rest of the half, Sporting was not able to find the equalizer, and it looked as if they were not going to get it. That was when forward Gianluca Busio saved the day. After defender, Graham Zusi’s shot was deflected, Busio found himself alone in front of the goal and sent home the tying goal.
Sporting KC would end the game salvaging a 2-2 draw from Sunday’s game.
For defender Andreu Fontas, Sporting could and probably should have ended the game on a happier note.
“For us, it’s not good enough. We want to win always. I think we had a great first half. We deserved to score more goals. I think maybe it would have closed the game. When you play against teams like the New York Red Bulls, everything can happen. In the second half, I think we weren’t good enough. They scored two goals and then I think it’s a good thing that we find power from out of nowhere to go and get the result. We were so close to winning it again with the (shot off the) crossbar by Daniel. A lot of positive things but also things to work on and keep working to be better,” Fontas said.
After scoring the game-tying goal for Sporting, manager Peter Vermes was only positive about Busio.
“I say it all the time, he’s not 16. He’s like 25. He’s a very mature kid. He gets it. He’s always in the game and he understands what the game needs. He’s an important player for our club and at the same time he’s making big strides in a short period of time,” said Vermes.
After scoring in three straight games, Busio knows that he needs to focus on the game and not on the personal accolades.
“They keep me humble. Everybody on the field, they’re old professional guys. They teach me how to be humble. If I get a big head, they’re going to knock me down a couple pegs. The guys around me keep me humble,” Busio said.