Winning isn't always pretty, good teams find a way to take care of business. Yesterday at Livestrong Sporting Park, KC didn't have the greatest game, but were able to over come that and beat Toronto FC 2-1. The blue print for shutting down KC almost played out to perfection for TFC, without Torsten Frings and Eric Hassli in the lineup, TFC was able to hold their own, but in the end KC had just too much possession and too many chances and finally found the net.
KC came out from the start and completely controlled the game. Possession early on was greatly in KC's favor, in the 9th minute Kei Kamara connected on a Chance Myers cross, but couldn't head the ball down as Freddy Hall challenged Kamara for the ball. KC continued to completely control the game as the half went on, but struggled to create legitimate chances. In the 31st minute minute CJ Sapong and Myers combined on the wing, Sapong's cross into the middle was cleared only as far as Roger Espinoza who hit his shot on the volley but it went just wide of the net. While all of KC's possession in the first half didn't lead to a goal, Toronto was able to find the back of the net. Richard Eckersley played a good ball over the top towards Ryan Johnson. Johnson was on side as his marker, Chance Myers stepped up with Matt Besler to try to mark him off. Lawrence Olum though didn't step up with the rest of the line, leaving Johnson onside. Johnson settled the ball and slotted the ball to the far post past Jimmy Nielsen, giving Toronto the lead.
Early in the second half KC fell asleep again defensively and almost found themselves down 2-0. It was again from Johnson as he collected a ball outside the box, cut inside and let loose with a shot from distance that hit the post and bounced back into play. KC stepped up after that and continued to dominate play but couldn't find a goal to level the game. Finally on the hour mark KC tied the game. Off a Graham Zusi free kick, Jeremy Hall partially cleared it to the top of the box. There, Paulo Nagamura hit it on the volley. The shot bounced into the ground a foot or two in front of Nagamura but bounced up, over Hall in Toronto's net and in to level the score at 1-1. A flukey goal, but they all count as KC was back in the game. The goal gave KC more energy and they renewed their push for a winner. If not for a great save in the 71st KC would have gone in front. Coming down the left, Zusi cut inside and let loose with a shot. Hall made a very good diving save to push the ball around the post for a corner to keep the scores level. Toronto continued to struggle going forward, but when they did, they seemed to catch Sporting's defense asleep. In the 78th another attack from Toronto forced a good save from Nielsen. After some nice combination work by Toronto down the right, Andrew Wiedeman crossed the ball into the middle for Luis Silva. Silva took a touch and blasted the shot on goal. Nielsen did a good job of diving to his right and making the big save.
KC continued to attack with some patient build up and in the 87th it paid off. After working from the left to the right, the ball came to Myers on the wing. He played the ball back to substitute, Oriol Rosell. Rosell one timed his shot on goal and past Hall into the net. Hall made a complete mess of the shot, even though he was screened, he has to do better with that, although he'd have to have held onto it, because if he'd spilled it, Dom Dwyer was there for the rebound. It didn't matter though as Rosell's shot squeezed through giving KC the 2-1 lead. KC held on late while Toronto had one more dangerous opportunity when they struggled to clear their end, but in the end, KC held on get the win, extend their lead at the top of the East and tie KC (at least for a day) with San Jose in the Supporters' Shield race.
Wizards Man of the Match - Paulo Nagamura - A goal and an assist for a midfielder, a good performance in the midfield. While Toronto didn't offer a ton going forward, Nagamura did a good job of forcing them to go over the top when they did attack by helping to cut down passing lanes in the middle.
Player Ratings - Nielsen 5, Sinovic 5, Besler 5, Olum 4, Myers 5, Cesar 6, Nagamura 7, Espinoza 6, Kamara 6, Sapong 5, Zusi 5. Subs Rosell 6, Dwyer NR.