Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sporting Climb Back on Top of the East

Against the top of the East the last two weeks, Sporting Kansas City had struggled and ended up not getting results. This week though KC were able to take care of business against the New England Revolution and got back to the top of the Eastern Conference.

Kansas City had the better of play in the early going and could have taken the least in the 19th minute. Chance Myers and Kei Kamara combined well down the wing. The ball ended up with Myers who crossed into the box for Claudio Bieler who'd stopped his run at the top of  the box. Bieler's volley though was well over the bar. KC deservedly grabbed the lead though in the 27th. Soony Saad received the wing, and cut in towards goal trying to create space. Saad floated a cross into the box where Kamara out jumped Kevin Alston and headed the ball past a late reacting Bobby Shuttleworth to give KC the 1-0 lead. New England started to come into the game more and were almost level in the 40th. After a string of possession, Lee Nguyen floated a ball over the back line for Dimitry Imbongo. Imbongo had gotten behind the defense (replays while not in line, look like he could have been offside). Imbongo though fired his shot right at Jimmy Nielsen, who did a good job of making himself big to cut down Imbongo's angle. Myers was fouled on the rebound and KC escaped.

Early in the second half KC doubled their lead, and it was again Saad and Kamara who connected. After a period of just over a minute straight of possession for KC, where they completed 22 passes and all 10 field players touched the ball, Saad played a cross right into the middle of the box. Again Kamara beat Alston to the ball and headed the ball past Shuttleworth and made it 2-0. Things got even worse for the Revolution in the 64th minute. as a ball bounced to Imbongo in KC's half of the field, the forward let the ball roll past him and he turned to shield off Oriol Rosell. While holding off Rosell he ended up elbowing Rosell in the face.  It didn't look intentional but he did have the elbow raised high. Baldomero Toledo called the foul and gave Imbongo his second yellow of the match, giving him an early exit. A man down, the Revolution continued to look for a goal to get them back in the game. Andy Dorman had a good effort, but fired his shot right at Nielsen and it was easily collected. Shortly after that effort, in the 80th minute, the Revolution again almost got a goal back. Chad Barrett did a good job of splitting KC's central defense and fired a shot on goal, but Nielsen made a nice diving save to knock the ball away. On the rebound, Diego Fagundez couldn't get the cross past Matt Besler. Things took another turn for the Revs in the 86th minute. After a give away by the Revolution, Kamara was starting a counter attack the other way. He was chased down by Andy Dorman who slid in on Kamara. Dorman missed the ball and just took out Kamara. Despite the protests by the Revolution's broadcast team, Toledo made no hesitation reaching for the back pocket and putting the Revolution down to 9 men for the final 4 minutes plus stoppage time. KC continued to push now up 2 men, and found a 3rd goal in stoppage time. With the extra space Benny Feilhaber raced towards the Revolution goal and ended up being brought down just outside the box. Feilhaber stepped up and took the free kick himself, curling it over the wall and into the net to make it 3-0.

Wizards Man of the Match - Kei Kamara - A pair of goals for the Sierra Leone international, both very good headers. He was a handful for Alston all night.

Honorable mention - Soony Saad

Player Ratings - Nielsen 7, Myers 5, Collin 6, Besler 6, Sinovic 6, Rosell 7, Joseph 5, Feilhaber 7, Saad 8, Bieler 6, Kamara 8. Subs Olum 6, Sapong 5, Dwyer NR


KChaz said...

SKC was never really up two men at anytime because the red card foul (Which if you look up in the dictionary reckless red card challenge you could see a replay of that foul.) Sporting only had 10 men on the field because Kamara could not play and we had used all our sub's.

Hopefully because of this PV does not change how he is using the sub's because I thought last night was a really good use of sub's.

Nathan Martin said...

The Opta Heat Map confirmed that it may have been the same starting XI, but it wasn't the same team.

Both centerbacks stayed more at home, smartly including 1 back on set piece duty.

In the midfield, Benny played slightly in advance of Joseph who was doing his best Rocastle impression at times. And Rosell less often went past the center circle.

All-in-all I was pleasantly surprised at some of the tweaks, even if I was initially disappointed at the starting lineup.

hartley said...

Three points is three points. But. . .

Our defense is still getting burned with too high a line. We are just lucky the Revs can't put the ball in the net. If we had a true Dmid then the defense could stay back a little. As it is, Besler and Collin push forward because there is too much of a hole between them and the deepest midfielder. And Collin needs to quit waving and just play until the whistle blows.

And Benny still doesn't get what it means to play defense the SKC way. He gives the opposition too much space when they are on the ball. And he is still jogging and watching when he is the closest midfielder to the ball.

I don't understand rating PJ a 5 when he hustled his ass off defensively while Benny jogged about. He was subbed because he was gassed. And notice how the defense tightened when Olum came on? He's the closest thing we have to a Dmid.