For the fifth time in seven league games at home, Sporting KC left points on the table. And for the third time in those five games, they let a lead slip away to drop the points. Sporting KC played the Vancouver Whitecaps to a 1-1 draw at Sporting Park last night. KC could take care of business against a team that was on it's second road game in 5 days.
KC came out aggressive from the start and created a number of chances early on in the game. In the 5th minute KC worked the ball from one side of the field to the other and back, with Graham Zusi taking the ball 20 yards into the box where he fired a hard shot on goal from just outside the box. Vancouver goalkeeper Brad Knighton could do nothing but punch the ball away. Zusi grabbed the rebound but his cross towards the middle was blocked and cleared away. KC continued to push and in the 15th minute again had a good opportunity to take the lead. Kei Kamara received a nice long ball from Zusi. Kamara carried it down the left before playing in a nice cross to the back post. Claudio Bieler met it with a sliding shot, but couldn't make enough contact to direct it on goal. In the 24th Kansas City again had an opportunity. A Zusi corner was cleared right back to him by the Whitecaps. Zusi then played the ball back to Oriol Rosell. Rosell took a touch towards goal and fired. Knighton again was forced to parry the shot away. The rebound fell to Soony Saad, but Saad couldn't turn his shot on goal from a difficult angle. Finally in the 35th minute KC took a deserved lead. Off a throw in from Matt Besler, he played it short to Kamara. The ball eventually made it's way to Rosell who fired a cross in to the back post. Chance Myers headed the ball down to Aurelien Collin. Collin turned and volleyed but his effort was blocked. The ball came right back to him though and he fired the ball past Knighton and into the net. Vancouver though was level right before the half. After a foul at the top of the box, Camilo curled it right into the corner, leaving Jimmy Nielsen with no chance on the ball and the Whitecaps were level.
Early in the second half, it looked like Vancouver could have had a penalty. Camilo got played in behind KC's defense and was 1v1 with Nielsen. Camilo touched the ball around him and fell over Nielsen. Ricardo Salazar though viewed Camilo dragging his leg so that it'd hit Nielsen and gave the Brazilian a yellow for a dive. KC had a number of opportunities to grab the lead but couldn't do enough with their shots. Specifically Kamara, who had two perfect opportunities with his head but couldn't direct either on goal. In the 60th, a long through from Besler found Kamara unmarked in the box, but he got too far under the ball and headed it over the goal. Again in the 66th, this time off a corner. Zusi played the ball to the back post where Kamara had gotten in ahead of his man but again headed the ball high of the goal. KC's closest chance to retaking the lead came in the 76th minute. Benny Feilhaber did a good job to win and control the ball in Vancouver's end of the field. Feilhaber eventually picked out Zusi who took a touch and fired a shot that beat Knighton, but not the post as it bounced into play and was cleared away. KC continued to pressure the rest of the way, but couldn't find a winner as the two teams settled for a point.
Wizards Man of the Match - Graham Zusi - Was denied by the post on what could have been a winner. Along with that his set pieces were spot on throughout the game. Better finishing at the other end of the set pieces and he finishes the game with a couple of assists.
Player Ratings - Nielsen 5, Myers 5, Collin 5, Besler 5, Ellis 5, Olum 6, Rosell 6, Zusi 7, Kamara 5, Bieler 5, Saad 4. Subs Feilhaber 5, Dwyer 4, Gardner NR.