If you'd have told me before this weekend that Sporting KC would go into Dallas and take a point off FC Dallas where they haven't loss since July last year, I would have absolutely taken it. And if you'd shown me the stats from last night without the score line I would have gladly taken a draw, Dallas dominated most categories offensively and had almost 60% possession. And then if you'd told me with all those stats, KC also played the final 22 minutes down a man, I would have loved a draw. Unfortunately I didn't love Sporting KC's 2-2 draw with Dallas last night. And the reason for that is because of the way that KC ended up drawing the game, giving up two late goals to go from having a 2-0 lead to only taking one point.
Dallas controlled the early portion of the match, keeping KC on the back foot, especially on set pieces. Jimmy Nielsen had to be alert in the 11th minute when Michel fired a free kick on goal. Nielsen did well to tip the ball over the bar. Only two minutes later, Dallas again almost too the lead as a long ball over the top by Zach Loyd was headed towards goal by Kenny Cooper, but his diving header went into the post and was eventually cleared by Mechack Jerome. Dallas continued to cause Kansas City all kinds of problems in the first half, especially on set pieces. In the 27th minute, David Ferreira lofted a free kick into the box. The ball made it over all the players and bounced into the post. The ball bounced on the line and Chance Myers raced back to clear the ball off the line, keeping the game scoreless. Nielsen was late to react to the free kick, but had to in case a Dallas player did get a head on it. It was a lot of one way traffic in the first half, but in the 42nd, KC woke up a bit. Off a Graham Zusi free kick the ball was knocked to the back post where it took a deflection off a Dallas player and bounced back into the middle. Aurelien Collin was arriving their to try to get his foot on the ball, but he was pulled back just enough to have Mark Geiger point to the spot. Kei Kamara stepped up and buried the PK to give KC the lead heading into the half time break.
In the second half, Dallas came out again and pushed the game on KC. Another corner from Michel was headed just over the bar by George John. KC though doubled their lead in the 57th minute. A Zusi corner kick landed right in the middle of the six yard box. It deflected off the chest of Je-Vaughn Watson and into the net, doubling KC's lead. And even though they didn't look great, KC was ahead 2-0 on the West leaders. Dallas continued to push the game trying to get back into it. Cooper made a great run down the wing in the 65th and fired a shot on Nielsen. Nielsen made the save but the ball stayed in the area. Eventually Collin tried to head the ball back to Nielsen. Cooper though was still in the area causing trouble, and Nielsen ended up making the save but having to fight to keep the ball from going over the line while collecting Collin's back pass. Only a few minutes later though KC found themselves in trouble. After a foul by Myers on Andrew Jacobsen, Jacobsen had stayed down and was being looked at by referee, Mark Geiger. Sapong started running back down the field as the ball was played towards Geiger and Jacobsen. Sapong got a small touch on the ball and knocked the ball into Jacobsen who was lying on the ground. Geiger did not hesitate and went to the back pocket, handing Sapong a red card. Watching replays, arguments can be made for the intent of Sapong's actions. Some say he sped up to catch up with the ball, while others are saying the touch was nothing. Unfortunately in those situations you leave yourself open to the referee's interpretation of your actions, and Geiger loves to imprint himself on games.
KC sat back further after that and tried to hit on the counter. Substitute Teal Bunbury almost had his first of the season after a break with Kamara, but Bunbury hit the post, and unfortunately was offside anyway. Dallas though continue to push the game. Finally in the 88th minute they got a goal that they richly deserved. After a lot of possession in KC's end, Cooper found Ramon Nunez to the right of Nielsen's goal. Nunez's cross was flicked on by Jacobsen and past Nielsen into the net. Kamara had given Jacobsen too much room to work with in the box and Dallas had life. Dallas continued to push as the game entered stoppage time. In stoppage time, Dallas won a free kick on the side of the field. Ferreira played a free kick right into the middle of the box. Walker Zimmerman had lost Kamara on the play and headed the ball past Nielsen and into the net to make it 2-2. While it wasn't undeserved, the fact that KC gave up the two goals so late made the draw feel like a loss when Geiger blew the final whistle.
Wizards Man of the Match - Graham Zusi - He played in some good free kicks last night, helping set of both of Sporting's goals. He continued his good run of form. It wasn't a great performance from Zusi, but no one else stood out either.
Player Ratings - Nielsen 5, Myers 5, Besler 5, Collin 4, Jerome 5, Nagamura 4, Rosell 5, Zusi 6, Kamara 4, Bieler 4, Sapong 3. Subs Olum 5, Bunbury 4, Peterson NR.