Isimat-Mirin, Zusi help Sporting KC beat Whitecaps 3-1

November 21, 2021 GMT
Sporting Kansas City forward Khiry Shelton, right, and Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Russell Teibert, right, battle for the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer match, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Kansas City, Kan. Sporting KC won 3-1. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Sporting Kansas City forward Khiry Shelton, right, and Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Russell Teibert, right, battle for the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer match, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Kansas City, Kan. Sporting KC won 3-1. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Sporting Kansas City forward Khiry Shelton, right, and Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Russell Teibert, right, battle for the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer match, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Kansas City, Kan. Sporting KC won 3-1. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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Sporting Kansas City forward Khiry Shelton, right, and Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Russell Teibert, right, battle for the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer match, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Kansas City, Kan. Sporting KC won 3-1. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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Sporting Kansas City forward Khiry Shelton, right, and Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Russell Teibert, right, battle for the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer match, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Kansas City, Kan. Sporting KC won 3-1. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Nicolas Isimat-Mirin scored his first MLS goal, Graham Zusi added a goal and an assist and Sporting Kansas City beat the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1 on Saturday in the opening round of the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Isimat-Mirin tapped in to an empty net from point-blank range to give Sporting a 2-1 lead in first-half stoppage time. Johnny Russell’s corner kick was punched away by goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau but Khiry Shelton flicked a header back toward the net and Isimat-Mirin put it away.

Kansas City, No. 3 seed from the Western Conference, plays second-seeded Seattle or No. 7 seed Real Salt Lake in the conference semifinals.

Dániel Sallói played an arcing cross that passed the far post before Zusi made a sliding one-touch pass to Shelton, who side-netted a first-timer from 7 yards out to open the scoring in the 17th minute.

Cristian Dájome converted from the penalty spot in the 39th after Sporting’s Luis Martins was called for a hand-ball in the area to make it 1-1.

Zusi blasted a rising shot from 25 yards out to cap the scoring in the in the 58th minute.