Thursday, September 20, 2012

Still "Yo're" Eastern Conference Leaders

The road warriors continued to do work away from Livestrong Sporting Park, as Sporting KC handed the New York Red Bulls a 2-0 loss at Red Bull Arena, their first home loss of the season.  Doing so the exact opposite way most Sporting games seem to go.  New York controlled much of the possession and had more shots, but it was KC that made two early goals stand up.

New York has been notorious lately for giving up early goals, and KC put New York behind early again.  In only the 11th minute, KC grabbed the lead.  Off a free kick at the top of the box, Kei Kamara touched the ball to Roger Espinoza who stopped it for Graham Zusi.  Zusi's shot banged off the cross bar and fell to Matt Besler.  Besler immediately touched the ball to CJ Sapong.  Sapong did a great job to settle, turn and fire a shot into the near corner to give Kansas City the 1-0 lead.  KC continued to press early and in the 19th minute found a second.  Off a corner kick, Zusi found Kamara who had easily lost his mark, William Conde, and beat Bill Guadette to the ball and his glancing header went into the net to make it 2-0 KC.  Shortly after New York should have pulled a goal back.  Some lax passing around the back led to Julio Cesar being disposed by Rafa Marquez who dribbled in on goal with Thierry Henry to his left.  Feeding Henry who was one on one with Jimmy Nielsen you'd expect Henry to score, but the Frenchman pushed the ball high and wide of the goal. 

Into the second half, the game started to open up more and there were chances at both ends. In the 56th minute, Sapong played Zusi into the box and he appeared to get dragged down from behind but no foul was called.  New York immediately came back the other way through Kenny Cooper, who fed Henry.  Henry then went back out wide and crossed into the box, but Cooper put his header wide of the goal.  The no call on the Zusi penalty was the first of two.  The second came later in the half when Sapong had gotten a step on his defender and was into the box.  Guadette came to claim the ball, sliding.  Sapong touched the ball wide and Guadette didn't seem to get the ball at all, but the referee didn't call a foul and instead gave a corner.  While New York continued to push numbers forward, KC still had some chances on the counter.  One involved some nice individual play from Zusi and Espinoza.  Zusi dribbled into the box, winning back possession when a New York defender won a tackle.  Zusi found Espinoza who cut to the byline and played a nice cross to Kamara at the back post.  Kamara headed the ball back across goal, but Guadette made a good save punching the ball away.  Again in the 87th KC almost grabbed a third on the counter.  Kamara led the attack into the box before laying it to Zusi at the top of the box.  Zusi's one time shot was well saved by Guadette who pushed the ball wide. 

KC's defense continued to hold strong even though New York threw numbers forward.  In stoppage time players were throwing themselves into tackles to block shots and win the ball back and in the end KC got the deserved 3 points and gave themselves a little breathing room in the East.

Wizards Man of the Match - Matt Besler and Aurelien Collin - KC's two centerbacks did a masterful job of limiting the chances for Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill in the first half, and Kenny Cooper when he came on in the second.  While New York had some shots on goal this game, Nielsen only had to make one really good save, the rest being saves he should make with ease.

Player Ratings - Nielsen 7, Myers 6, Besler 8, Collin 8, Sinovic 7, Cesar 7, Nagamura 6, Espinoza 6, Kamara 7, Sapong 7, Zusi 7.  Subs Peterson 6, Olum, NR, Rosell NR.


hartley said...

So, I guess you are not going to address Henry's little stunt near the end of the game? Something really needs to be done about Henry and other "star" players pulling these acting jobs. Henry should have gotten a straight red. What an embarrassment.

Mike said...

I forgot to record the game, so I didn't have that to refer back to and since it's not in the highlights either I didn't want to go into it too much. From what other people have written he'll probably hear from the DisCo, but without having a replay to review I'm not stating an opinion.

Moop said...

Part of me wants to like a player that tries to keep play going (Henry constantly complaining about delays). However, then I'm reminded that he delays games pretty badly when his team is ahead, so it gets annoying.

The little stunt at the end though really pissed me off. I swear, from the bad replay I saw, it looked like he just ran at Kei (from behind) and then flopped like Kei had hit him. I hate to see our players do stuff like that (which they typically don't I think), but was glad Kei went down immediately on what was pretty much a nudge.

The fact that Henry kept tapping his head looking for blood to magically appear out of nowhere was classic.

Lame and sad for a player on a top team to act like that. Henry should stick to handballing teams out of tournaments.