It wasn't a blow out, and it wasn't always pretty, but Sporting Kansas City took care of business against their PDL foes, the Des Moines Menace tonight 2-0 at Sporting Park to advance to the fourth round of the US Open Cup. Goals by Kei Kamara and Claudio Bieler in each half gave Sporting the goals they required.
KC came out from the start and looked to find an early goal. Inside the first few minutes they should have been up 1-0. A cross from Mechack Jerome skipped over the head of a Menace defender to Kamara. Kamara controlled the ball on his chest and fired a ball towards goal, but it hit the side netting keeping the score 0-0. Sporting should have had another goal shortly after. After some work down the left the ball made it's way through the box to Chance Myers. With goalkeeper Scott Angevine out of position, Myers looked to have a goal, but his shot was right at a Menace defender and the score remained 0-0. Finally in the 12th minute, Kansas City grabbed the lead. Of a short corner the ball was played to Myers at the top of the box. Myers cut in and then fired a cross across the box where it was turned into the net by Kamara to give KC the 1-0 lead. After the goal, Des Moines seemed to pick their game up and started to actually come out and try to really attack KC. They were actually unlucky to not equalize as the half went on. A nice through ball found Shadow Sebele alone on goal with Eric Kronberg. Sporting's back up goalkeeper did a good job of pushing the ball away from Sebele in challenging for the ball. Sebele won the ball back though and fired a cross towards the back post. The ball though was a little too fast for a sliding Chris Harmon, who would have had a tap in had he made contact. KC had the better chances though and just could not find a second goal.
In the second half, KC continued to push the game, attacking the Menace from the start, looking to grab a second and put the game to bed. The Menace defense though held fire making blocks and Angevine coming up with saves. He did a really nice job on Mechack Jerome, who throughout the half came up with some very good efforts from range outside the box that were either blocked or saved. CJ Sapong also forced a nice save out of Angevine after a short from distance. KC kept coming, inserting two starters from Sunday's contest with Houston, Jacob Peterson and Claudio Bieler. Shortly after his insertion, Peterson and Jerome hooked up on a give and go but Peterson's cross to the back post saw Sapong not reach it until the angle was too narrow for him to do much with. Shortly after that though KC found a second, and it was again Peterson who was the architect. Another cross from Peterson this time found Bieler on the back post and he beat Angevine to make it 2-0. KC kept searching for more goals and were unlucky to add to the total. Bieler had a nice effort blocked from the top of the box. Then KC had the ball twice hit the cross bar in one play. Off a corner kick that was played towards the near post, the ball was flicked towards goal and hit the cross bar. It deflected over to Benny Feilhaber who controlled the ball on his chest and then volleyed the ball, but didn't get over it enough from a tight angle and fired it into the cross bar again. Overall KC really should have put 5 or 6 on the board against the PDL side, but the two were enough to see KC through to the 4th round and a date with USL affiliate, Orlando City.
Wizards Man of the Match - Mechack Jerome - The Haitian had himself an extremely strong game, not only defensively, but also getting himself up the field and crossing the ball into the box. Would have liked to have seen more to the back post in the first half when Kamara was matched up with a defender a head and a half shorter than him, but Jerome did a good job overall and was unlucky to not add a goal to his total today.
Player Ratings - Kronberg 7, Jerome 8 - Collin 7, Olum 7, Gardner 6, Lopez 6, Thomas 5, Feilhaber 6. Myers 6, Sapong 5, Kamara 7. Subs Peterson 7, Bieler 7, Rosell NR.