Sporting Kansas City will have to wait another couple years before they get the chance to end their long winless record in San Jose. Last night, Sporting KC fell to the San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 at Buck Shaw Stadium, extending their winless run to 0-11-5 in league and playoff games in San Jose since their last win in 2000.
The first half as a whole was lacking from both teams. KC offered extremely little going forward in the half. San Jose didn't provide much more, but they did test Jimmy Nielsen. Clarence Goodson put an effort just wide of the post early in the first half. He then forced Nielsen into a big save in the 33rd minute. Off a long free kick, Goodson won a header and put it on goal, but Nielsen made a fantastic diving save to knock the ball away keeping the game scoreless. Nielsen again was called into action a little later in the half off a Victor Bernardez free kick, but this one was right at Nielsen.
In the second half Sporting came out and showed better initiative than they did throughout the first half. They kept possession a little bit and were getting deeper into San Jose's end more. But in the 55th it was San Jose that grabbed the lead. Steven Beitashour got a bit of space out wide on Seth Sinovic and fired a cross into the middle that was headed by Chris Wondolowski past Nielsen and into the net. While there were some very big claims for Wondolowski being offside, especially upon viewing the replay, that over shadows, KC's play at the time. Wondolowski was unmarked, only a late attempt by Chance Myers made it at least look like it wasn't completely uncontested. Questions can also be asked a bit of Nielsen, who made the save in the first half on Goodson, and that one had more pace on it.
Sporting almost responded immediately as Soony Saad did a good job working the ball down the left before playing a low cross into the box for substitute, Teal Bunbury. A challenge by Goodson though threw off Bunbury on his shot and the ball went over the goal. Sporting continued to pressure looking for an equalizer, but really were not creating much in the way of chances as San Jose sat a little deeper, cutting off passing angles for KC to play through. In the 65th minute KC had a penalty shout turned down by referee Juan Guzman. A long throw in by Matt Besler was flicked on to the back post towards Saad. As Saad looked to get to the ball before it went out, he appeared to be fouled by Beitashour. Guzman though made no call. As the minutes went by though KC didn't really create much in the way of chances and really didn't deserve a goal. Jon Busch in the San Jose net was never really troubled by KC's offense that desperately missed both Graham Zusi and Kei Kamara.
Wizards Man of the Match - Soony Saad - Saad was the focal point of KC's attack throughout the night. But even he missed Kamara. A few times he'd have the ball wide ready to play a cross to the back post, but Jacob Peterson would either be too tightly marked or not there.
Player Ratings - Nielsen 6, Myers 4, Collin 4, Besler 4, Sinovic 5, Rosell 4, Olum 3, Feilhaber 4, Saad 6, Bieler 5, Peterson 4. Subs Bunbury 4, Sapong 4, Joseph 4.