Sporting KC left it late, but they picked up another win on Friday night against DC United thanks to a late goal from Claudio Bieler.
Unlike in previous games this season at Sporting Park, DC United didn't totally sit back, instead they took the game to KC, especially in the first half where they pressured KC and had more of the control of the game. Chances as a whole in the first half were at a premium though as both sides clogged shooting lanes. KC were able to create the better chances of the ones that were created. The best of which was off a long throw in from Matt Besler that found the head of Bieler. Bieler though put his header just wide of Bill Hamid's post. The only shot on goal in the entire half for either side was an effort from CJ Sapong that he put right at Hamid. DC though had a chance themselves in stoppage time as Lionard Pajoy got played in over the top. He cut between two Sporting defenders and tried to beat Jimmy Nielsen at his near post but fired wide of the goal.
In the second half, DC started to sit back just a little bit more, looking to secure themselves the road point. KC upped the level of attack but struggled with creating scoring chances. DC did a good job defensively of closing down KC and keeping them from creating chances. And the chances they did create, Sporting weren't able to finish. In the 63rd KC had a good chance created through Benny Feilhaber as he collected a ball from Seth Sinovic and tried to play a ball in to Bieler. Bieler got a touch but the ball rolled past to Paulo Nagamura who played the ball back to Feilhaber who continued his run. But from around the corner of the 6 yard box, he fired wide of Hamid's goal. Sinovic also had an opportunity himself collecting a ball on the wing and racing towards goal, firing a shot wide of the post from just outside the box. Nielsen was rarely called into action in the second half, as he had to make an easy save on a low free kick for his only official save of the match. In the 80th he also saved a bicycle kick from Carlos Ruiz, but he was in an offside position which would have negated any goal anyway. In the 89th minute, KC finally found their goal. Sinovic tried to beat Chris Korb, but was cutout with some assistance by Marcelo Saragosa. Saragosa fed the ball Marcos Sanchez who was immediately closed down by Peterson Joseph and joined by Sinovic and Soony Saad. Sanchez tried to play the ball back to Saragosa but didn't get enough on his touch. Saad won the hospital ball and his first touch played the ball through Saragosa's legs. Saad collected the ball and carried the ball down the end line towards the goal. He then played a low cross into the middle where Bieler one timed the ball into the net giving KC the lead. KC killed off the rest of the game, which included 5 minutes of stoppage time to earn their 3rd win of the season.
It wasn't a pretty game as DC took the game to Sporting more than I thought KC would let them, but Kansas City get the 3 points which is always key.
Wizards Man of the Match - Matt Besler - The Sporting defense shut down DC's attack for much of the game, limiting them to only 4 shots, only 1 of which was on target. Besler was a big part of that, especially with containing Rafael and Pajoy.
Player Ratings - Nielsen 6, Myers 6, Collin 5, Besler 7, Sinovic 7, Rosell 5, Nagamura 5, Feilhaber 6, Zusi 6, Bieler 6, Sapong 5. Subs Saad 6, Joseph 6, Olum NR