Sunday, June 26, 2011
KC Takes All 3
Sporting KC fell behind early against the Vancouver Whitecaps last night at LiveSTRONG Sporting Park, but were able to fight back and win all three with goals by Omar Bravo and Julio Cesar to give KC a 2-1 win over the Canadian side. It's only the second time all season so far that KC has grabbed points from a losing position, the previous was the 1-1 draw in Colorado. It's the first time they've earned all three when coming back from a losing position.
The Wizards started the game trying to go right at the Whitecaps. A lot of the attack ended up coming from KC's right side through Omar Bravo, Milos Stojcev, and Chance Myers, helped to create some good attacks for KC. CJ Sapong almost gave KC the lead inside the first 10 minutes after receiving a ball in the middle, but Joe Cannon had cut the angle and Sapong's shot went off Cannon's chest. Shortly after that, it was Vancouver who grabbed a surprising 1-0 lead. A free kick from Davide Chiumiento found Camilo in the box. Camilo's flick on header made it past Jimmy Nielsen and into the net. His mark Cesar seemed to give up totally on following Camilo's run right after the ball was delivered. Some poor defending by the Brazilian.
KC continued to be the more dominate side as the half wore on, but were struggling to find that final ball. The got a chance from the penalty spot in the 32nd minute after Jay DeMerit fouled Bravo in the box. The play leading up to the PK was very well done, after a cleared free kick, Matt Besler found himself with the ball on the left. He played the ball to Bravo, who ran over the ball allowing it to go to Sapong. Bravo continued his run and Sapong played him through. Bravo shrugged off one challenge, but then when he cut back on DeMerit, the US national team defender went for a sliding challenged, but missed and Bravo got the deserved penalty. Cannon went to his right and Bravo put the ball just to his left and tied the game at 1-1.
After the goal, KC continued to push, looking for a second and if not for Cannon, Stojcev would have made it 2-1 in the 35th. A long switch by Seth Sinovic found Stojcev racing into the box, but his effort was blocked by Cannon and no one was close enough to get the rebound. In the 40th though, KC found their deserved second goal. A corner by Graham Zusi to the back post was headed back across the middle by Bravo. Cesar laid out getting enough on the ball to fire it on net and between Cannon's legs to give KC the lead.
In the second half, KC sat back a little more trying to hit on the counter while allowing Vancouver a little more possession. In the 53rd minute though, Eric Hassli almost made KC pay, Hassli got behind Besler and cut across goal, but Nielsen made a kick save to preserve the lead. Really, that was the only really threatening chance of the second half for Vancouver. KC had more chances on the counter, Roger Espinoza on his first start back with the team after the Gold Cup, had a blast from about 30 yards out that Cannon either saw late or didn't realize it was going to be on goal until late as he had to make a late diving save to keep the ball out. Kei Kamara came on as a sub for Sapong late in the game and had a few chances himself, once firing wide after getting in behind Vancouver's defense. KC did well to try to strike on the counter, but couldn't find a third. Still, KC held out and picked up another win, and moved themselves off the foot of the Eastern Conference.
WIZARDS Man of the Match - CJ Sapong - The rookie is having a fantastic rookie year and last night was a great example of that, he did great holding up the ball, laying it off and doing all the things that are expected of a center forward. Sapong didn't get a goal last night, but he did well in basically every part of the game that was expected of him last night. With Teal Bunbury slumping, Sapong's role has increased dramatically.
Honorable Mention - Aurelien Collin, Omar Bravo
Player Ratings - Nielsen 6, Myers 6, Collin 6, Besler 6, Sinovic 5, Cesar 5, Espinoza 5, Zusi 5, Stojcev 5, Sapong 8, Bravo 7. Subs Arnaud 5, Kamara NR, Harrington NR.