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story.lead_photo.caption FC Cincinnati defender Tom Pettersson attempts to head a ball as Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia hits him on the head Wednesday night in Cincinnati. Photo by The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP

CINCINNATI — Roger Espinoza scored and Sporting Kansas City clinched a playoff berth with a 1-0 victory Wednesday night against FC Cincinnati.

Sporting Kansas City (11-6-3) also moved into the Western Conference lead. Cincinnati (4-13-4) lost its third straight match and was eliminated from playoff contention.

Espinoza's shot from close range deflected off goalkeeper Spencer Richey's left foot in the 57th minute.

Tim Melia made two saves to become Sporting's career leader with 510. Melia broke the record with his first save, a deflection off Jurgen Locadia's left-footed shot to the near post in the 46th minute.

Cincinnati had chances in the second half. Siem de Jong's penalty kick hit the right post in the 63rd minute. Brandon Vazquez's chipped a shot off the post in the 88th.

It was Cincinnati's last game at Nippert Stadium. Cincinnati will play next season at West End Stadium.

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