Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sapong Goal Gives KC All 3 Points

Sporting KC looked like a team that for the most part finished last season together, while DC looked like a team that had many new parts. But it took a late winner from Sporting KC to pull off a 1-0 win over DC United. The game though was not that close, as KC controlled the majority of play and totally shut down the DC United attack. Matt Besler and Aurelien Collin shut down Dwayne DeRosario and Hamdi Salihi, while Roger Espinoza and Julio Cesar did a good job of shutting out United's midfield including Branko Boskovic.

The first half of the game saw few chances for either side, but KC was the team that controlled the play for the most part. The best chances of the half both fell to Kansas City, and both of them fell to Kei Kamara. The first opportunity came in the 36th on a counter. After being played in by Graham Zusi, Kamara tried to curl a shot into the net from the corner of the box, but the shot curled wide of the goal. Then in first half stoppage time Kamara almost opened the scoring again. On a cross from Espinoza on the left, Kamara got over Daniel Woolard and headed a ball on goal. Bill Hamid in the DC net though had drug his back foot and hot just enough on Kamara's header to knock it wide of the goal.

In the second half, KC continued to control the pace of the game, but the final ball and shot was lacking quite often. On a few other opportunities, Hamid would spill the shot, but no one KC was able to get into the box to capitalize on the rebound. At other times, Hamid did well to hold the shots, specifically a shot from Zusi in the 67th that hopped right in front of the US international. KC continued to press and in stoppage time earned a corner. Zusi played a nice corner into the box, where substitute, CJ Sapong beat Woolard and headed the ball to the far post, where Hamid had no one covering. Sapong did a great job eluding his mark on the play giving him an open header. KC brings all 3 points back to KC ahead of the home opener against New England next week.

Wizards Man of the Match - Roger Espinoza - Espinoza was extremely good yesterday for Sporting. He did well to get into the attack, creating some good opportunities for KC. On the defensive side he did well to help shut down DC's attack along with the two center backs and Julio Cesar.

Honorable Mention - Julio Cesar, Aurelien Collin

Player Ratings - Nielsen 6, Myers 6, Collin 8, Besler 7, Sinovic 6, Cesar 7, Espinoza 8, Zusi 7, Kamara 6, Bunbury 5, Convey 5. Sapong 6, Peterson NR.


Nathan Martin said...

I figured that I would mention this one time only and hope that it doesn't cause much offense.

The inclusion of The Wizards in your blog title reads weird: it sounds as if you are covering 3 distinct, current teams.

Maybe a separate team history timeline denoting the different eras could be included elsewhere.

eelgrassman said...

Roger was absolutely in the zone last night. Glad someone else thought so too. The TV announcers didn't really give him the credit I thought he deserved.

I remember going out to a reserves game when Vermes first took over, and he was paying a lot of attention to Roger, in a good way. Since, then, it's been fun to see him play a bigger and bigger role on the team. I think his int'l experience has probably paid some dividends too.

Howie said...

I agree with Espinoza being man of the match. The guy was all over the place, extremely active.

I didn't think Zusi had a great game, his passing seemed slightly off. The entire team looked slightly rusting and awkward with their passing, obviously it's early.

Convey seemed to be playing too centrally in the first half, almost tucked in like Bravo when he wasn't flipping sides with Kamara. He was more useful the second half as he stayed more wide.