Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Onto the Quarters for Sporting

Sporting KC took care of business at home last night, earning themselves their fourth trip in five years to the US Open Cup quarterfinals.  Unfortunately in none of those other 3 years has KC been able to win their quarterfinal match up.  On June 26th against Dayton, KC will have the opportunity to break that cycle.

KC came out and once again looked to apply their early pressure and were successful in winning some dangerous opportunities but weren't really able to test Matt Pickens in the Colorado net.  The best of those early chances fell to Chance Myers off a Matt Besler throw.  Besler's throw bounced in the box right in front of Myers as he made his run.  Myers tried to flick the ball with his foot pass picks but was only able to knock the ball into the ground and over the bar.  The dangerous opportunities continued to fall to KC as they pushed the game but never tested Pickens, always putting their efforts high or wide of the goal.  Finally KC got the goal that they deserved for their control of play.  After a foul about 40 yards out, Graham Zusi played a lofted ball into the box.  Aurelien Collin went up and met the cross with his head firing it on goal.  Pickens did well to get down and make a nice save on the first effort.  Unfortunately, Pickens only pushed the ball onto the post.  The ball rebounded back to Pickens, hit off him and rolled into the net.  While it was a deserved lead for KC, you had to feel a little hard done for Pickens who had made the first save very well.

After KC's goal, Colorado seemed to come into the game more as they created some good chances of their own late in the half.  Wells Thompson forced a punch save from Jimmy Nielsen in the SKC net.  Then Tony Cascio fired into the side netting from close range.  The Rapids continued push continued in the start of the second half.  Colorado started to get more and more of the ball, and were unlucky to equalize when a low cross was only partially cleared to Jaime Castrillon, whose curled effort towards the corner of the goal hit the elbow of the post and cross bar and bounced away back into play.  Meanwhile, KC's best possessions were coming from the counter to Teal Bunbury, but Bunbury's finishing was lacking.  In the 72nd minute, Colorado had another good opportunity, but Collin came up very big on the ball.  A give away by Zusi in COlorado's half led to a fast break.  Collin was the only defender behind the ball at the time as Colorado went on a 2v1 break.  Matt Besler did well to recover and cover the other player, but Collin did even better with a marvelous tackle on Edu at the top of the box to come away with the ball.  In the 79th minute, KC doubled their lead.  Soony Saad played a cross into the box for CJ Sapong.  Kosuke Kimura won the first header, but on the second, Sapong headed the ball into the middle of the box for Bunbury who one timed his effort past Pickens and into the net for a 2-0 lead.  KC shut down Colorado's attack further after that and the Rapids hardly seriously threatened KC's goal lat on as Sporting advanced to the quarterfinals where they'll play the Dayton Dutch Lions of the USL-Pro division.

Wizards Man of the Match - Teal Bunbury - Bunbury looks like he's starting to find some very good form.  His first touch seems to be back and it showed some good ability to actually play the target striker at times last night as well when KC needed it.  He also did well to finish his best opportunity of the night.

Honorable Mention - Aurelien Collin

Player Ratings - Nielsen 6, Sinovic 7, Collin 8, Besler 7, Myers 7, Cesar 6, Joseph 6, Zusi 6, Peterson 6, Bunbury 8, Sapong 7.  Subs Olum 6, Saad 6.

1 comment:

Mooseknuckle said...

First touch? Really?

He played the ball way out in front of himself a lot and lost it several times because of this.

He also could win a header to save his life. I counted. He won one.

Good finish though. I will totally give you that. I hope he is getting his mojo back. I like seeing him and Sapong in at the same time. They kind of balance each other out (strengths and weaknesses).