Thursday, November 08, 2012

Sporting Come Up a Goal Short

Sporting KC attacked all night, pinning Houston deep in their own end for much of the game, but couldn't take care of business and for the second year in a row at Livestrong Sporting Park, the Dynamo eliminated Sporting from the playoffs.  Dreams of a league/cup double ended as KC couldn't find the net a second time after Seth Sinovic scored his first professional goal in the 64th to give KC life.

From the start KC pushed the game, obviously going for the early goal that would have completely changed the course of the game.  In the 8th minute KC had their first really good chance as a Graham Zusi free kick found the head of Kei Kamara.  Kamara was offside, but had to do better with his header anyway, as he put it well wide of the goal.  Houston's attempts to get forward were usually limited and in fewer numbers to avoid counters.  In the 15th minute, Brad Davis hit side netting on one of those counters with a blast from about 30 yards out.  As the half wore on, it seemed like every player for KC was earning a chance.  CJ Sapong fired a shot right at Tally Hall, while Kamara tried to set up Zusi but his shot was skied over the bar.  The best chance of the probably fell to Chance Myers and Kamara in the 26th.  A nice ball by Zusi picked out Myers as he got behind Davis.  In on goal, Myers passed up a shot, instead squaring to Kamara who had his shot stopped by Bobby Boswell.  Myers arguably had the better angle and should have taken the shot himself in that instance.  KC kept pushing and kept creating at least some half chances.  Sapong had another good opportunity as Kamara headed a long ball from Matt Besler into Sapong's path, but Sapong couldn't make good contact with it and Hall collected.

The second started off the exact same way as the first with one way traffic mainly towards the Houston goal.  KC though still struggled to test Hall while they were creating shots for themselves.  In the 63rd minute, it was Peterson Joseph's turn at a chance as a deep cross floated over Myers and Mac Kandji into the path of Joseph.  Joseph took a shot and fired the ball wide of goal.  Only a minute later though KC found their goal.  Kamara made a great solo run through the middle of Houston's team, beating 4 guys on the dribble before laying the ball out wide to Zusi.  Zusi played a cross towards the back post, where Sinovic had ghosted in, totally unmarked, and with a diving header put KC right back into the series.

KC continued to pour numbers forward and in the 73rd should have tied the series.  Kamara again made a great run down the wing before firing in a low curling cross towards Sapong.  Sapong arrived before Boswell and Hall, but with the goal calling out to him, Sapong but the shot over.  The chances became more and more frantic as it got later as KC continued to create chances but unable to find a second goal.  Late in stoppage time things got interesting.  A long ball to Kamara was headed into the path of Sapong who found the forward running a bit away from goal but he played a great ball that rolled right across the face of the open net, but no player had followed to slam the ball home.  Sinvoic had another effort blocked as the Dynamo couldn't clear their lines.  KC kept reloading with crosses into the box two more times before Roger Espinoza played a low ball to the feet of Myers.  Myers turned took a touch towards the end line and tried to get past Ricardo Clark.  Myers went to ground as Clark went in to win the ball, but no call was made by the referee in what very easily could have been a penalty and a chance to tie the game.  In fact by looking at replays Clark looked kind of resigned to it actually being a penalty.  KC kept pushing but there was to be no miracle goal as Houston held on and advanced to play the winner of DC and New York.  KC's season ends in disappointing fashion for the second straight year.

Wizards Man of the Match - Oriol Rosell - Thrown into the fire with the injury to Julio Cesar, Rosell did extremely well in staying composed and stringing passes through the midfield.  Yes he did so with a team who was sitting back a lot more, but the Spaniard held his own and showed the talent that caused Vermes to sign the midfielder.

Honorable Mention - Seth Sinovic, Kei Kamara

Player Ratings - Nielsen 6, Myers 6, Besler 6, Collin 6, Sinovic 7, Rosell 8, Espinoza 6, Joseph 5, Kamara 7, Sapong 5, Zusi 6.

1 comment:

Nathan Martin said...

Short a goalscorer all season. The front office noticed, I am sure.

Rosell circulated the ball as well as any midfielder this season. More games will only help his tempo and rhythm mature.

Is there a database of the players' remaining years under contract?

From Bobby Convey and Julio Cesar to starters in line for raises, it'd help understand the salary cap possibilities.