Three days after the US Open Cup final there were plenty of fans that were worried about a potential let down last night at Livestrong Sporting Park when Kansas City took on DC United. It was anything but though as KC controlled the game and could have won by quite a bit more than the 2-1 score line.
KC came out and controlled the early going, but it was DC that had the first chance, as a ball into the box by Andy Najar was knocked down for Brandon McDonald who fired the shot well over the goal. KC's early possession almost paid off in the 13th off a long throw from Matt Besler. McDonald one the first header against Aurelien Collin but the header went up into the air and Collin won the second ball heading it on goal. DC keeper, Bill Hamid had to tip the ball over the bar for a corner. On the ensuing corner kick, KC did grab the lead. Teal Bunbury lost Chris Pontius and headed Graham Zusi's corner inside the far post to give KC the lead. KC continued to push and should have doubled the lead off another corner in the 23rd minute as Zusi picked out Collin on the back post, but with his free header he pushed it wide. KC paid for that miss less than a minute later as DC came right down the field and Najar played a ball to the back post for Nick DeLeon. DeLeon and Michael Harrington went up for the ball, but DeLeon got the touch. The ball landed in front of him and he scrambled the ball past Jimmy Nielsen and ahead of Collin to make it 1-1. Kansas City started to control the game more, but luck was not on their side. In the 38th minute they were denied by the wood work. Neven Markovic played a cross into the box that didn't get cleared, Bunbury ended up touching the ball back to Paulo Nagamura who fired a shot on goal that hit off the post. DC didn't get the ball cleared, but when Harrington crossed the ball into the box, Kei Kamara committed a foul giving the ball to DC. Then in the 40th Hamid had to make a diving save on Michael Thomas off a free kick from Zusi.
In the second half Kansas City continued to control the game but continued to remain unlucky. In the 53rd minute Bunbury made a good run down the line and crossed into the box for Zusi. Zusi's one time effort hit off the underside of the cross bar and bounced down on the wrong side of the line for KC right in front of Hamid who collected the ball. In the 63rd KC found their deserved second. Kamara played a cross in from the left to Zusi at the back post. Zusi was completely unmarked had enough time to settle the ball and 5-hole Hamid to give Sporting the lead again. With the lead, KC settled down a little bit but still controlled the game, finishing with over 60% possession for the game. The win moved Kansas City back to the top of the Eastern Conference as they jumped ahead of Houston and New York.
Wizards Man of the Match - Graham Zusi - Zusi redeemed himself from a poor performance in the US Open Cup final with a goal and an assist. The post denied him a second goal and some better finishing would have seen him with more assists.
Player Ratings - Nielsen 5, Markovic 6, Collin 6, Besler 6, Harrington 5, Nagamura 6, Thomas 6, Espinoza 6, Kamara 6, Bunbury 6, Zusi 7. Subs Sapong NR, Cesar NR, Rosell NR.