Thursday, July 05, 2012

Not Pretty But We'll Take It

Last night in Montreal wasn't the prettiest game that KC has ever played, on the other hand it wasn't the worst one either.  KC played poorly in the first half, performed better in the second half, and for the first time in what seems like a long while, KC got some close calls to actually go their way as referee Sorin Stoica gave KC two PKs for fouls in the box by the Impact. 

The first half for KC was fairly abysmal, they struggled to get the ball forward, and rarely tested Donovan Ricketts in the Montreal net.  On the other side of the field, designated player, Marco Di Vaio was taking Aurelien Collin to school for much of the half.  KC weren't helping themselves out by giving the ball away to easily.  In the 4th minute in one such situation, the ball came to Davy Arnaud, who fed Di Vaio.  Di Vaio played a clever ball through the legs of Chance Myers to Felipe, but Jimmy Nielsen came up with a big save.  Di Vaio only 2 minutes later was played in behind KC's defense by Justin Mapp, but 1v1 with Nielsen, Di Vaio pushed his shot wide of the goal.

KC did finally get a good look at goal in the 12th minute off a Graham Zusi corner.  The first corner found Matt Besler, whose header appeared to be going wide, but Felipe flicked the header out for another corner just to be safe.  Off the second corner, Patrice Bernier almost put the ball into his own net off a deflection, but the ball went just over the goal.  The offense from KC didn't last long as Montreal was again on the attack testing the KC goal.  Nielsen was forced into another good save on Di Vaio off a free kick, and Arnaud was very unlucky to push an effort just wide of the post.  Montreal had found that they were having plenty of lucky going down KC's right side, at Chance Myers.  In another opportunity down that side, Mapp got played in on a break away with Nielsen, but the Dane came up with a big kick save to knock the ball out.

KC got out of the first half without conceding, but it didn't take the Impact long in the second half to take the lead.  A ball down the line found Felipe, who squared the ball back into the middle.  With all the KC defenders in the box, no midfielder made the recovery run behind them, and that allowed Bernier a clear run at the ball.  His strike from the top of the box easily beat Nielsen and it was 1-0 Montreal, nothing less than they deserved up to that point.  In the 55th minute, Kansas City was handed a life line, as a free kick into the box by Zusi was headed on by Collin into the path of Bernier.  In his attempt to control the ball, Bernier controlled it using his forearm, and Stoica pointed to the spot after waiting a second for advantage to be played.  Kei Kamara stepped up to take the PK for Sporting and drilled it right down the middle to tie the game at 1-1. 

After the PK, KC seemed to come into the game more and began to have more of the game themselves.  The didn't create much chance wise, but they certainly had more of the ball and looked like the better attacking side.  In the 74th, Stoica again called a penalty kick, this time off a corner.  As the ball came into the box, former KC captain, Arnaud knocked substitute, Soony Saad to the ground.  Stoica called the Arnaud had been holding the 19 year old back as he awarded the second PK.  With Kamara off the field, Zusi stepped up and buried the penalty kick to Ricketts right hand side to put Kansas City on top.

After the second PK, the Impact began to get more of the game again, and they went looking for a penalty themselves, specifically Arnaud who appeared to be trying to get the same call that was made against him awarded in the Impact's favor, but twice Stoica looked the other way when Arnaud went down in the box.  KC began to find some space on the counter as the Impact pushed numbers forward, and in the 82nd, KC found a third goal.  Roger Espinoza played a 1-2 with Saad before playing a nice cross to the back post for Jacob Peterson.  Peterson controlled it on the chest and then volleyed the ball towards the back post. The ball though took a deflection off of former Wizard, Shavar Thomas and went past Ricketts and in at his near post to make it 3-1.  KC held on as Montreal had a late flurry at the end, but really after their goal, KC did a good job of shutting down Montreal's attack.

Wizards Man of the Match - Jimmy Nielsen - Without some big saves by the Dane in the first half, this game is out of control at half time.  Two very big saves on Felipe and Mapp, and his positioning caused problems on chances by Di Vaio.  A solid performance from Nielsen.

Honorable Mention - Jacob Peterson

Player Ratings - Nielsen 8, Myers 4, Collin 5, Besler 5, Sinovic 5, Nagamura 5, Espinoza 5, Zusi 6, Kamara 6, Bunbury 3, Sapong 4.  Subs Peterson 7, Saad 6, Joseph NR.


Nathan W. Martin said...

I'm pleased with Peter Vermes willingness to shift things around coming into the game and within the game.

He clearly noted Cesar's poor performance and put in Nagamura who made and missed some plays. I just like that he kept Cesar accountable.

He finally put CJ back up top after Teal's lack of possession ability kept the SKC defense under pressure.

And he used his third substitution with time left on the clock. It is still my opinion that Saad is the purest striker of the ball on the team and needs time in front of goal.

Saad is the "son of" Herculez Gomez to me. For an entire year, I pounded the table on putting Herculez into the middle either as the attacking mid or center forward. His shot and runs were too sweet to be wasted out right. He left the next year and the rest is history. He was moved into the middle and became the first American to win the Golden Boot in a foreign league. Oh and now he's a starter for the USMNT in the middle.

hartley said...

I haven't watched the game, only the highlights. But I would say that Nagamura was less than a 5 rating. Montreal's goal was scored as he just kinda loped back and didn't pick up anyone. Isn't he to play a more defensive-minded role when he is on the pitch in place of Cesar? Not much defense there.

And I still think Jacob Peterson should be starting. He is still the only forward showing some grit out there.

bfos said...

Don't forget the disallowed goal on a bad offsides call that went our way, too.

This was another abysmal performance. We were so lucky to get anything out of it, let alone all three points.