Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sporting Take Control of Their CCL Group in Win

Sporting Kansas City took complete control of Group 2 in the CONCACAF Champions League tonight in Honduras. In their second road trip of the competition, Sporting picked up a 2-0 win to give them sole possession of first place in the group.  Sporting now return home for their final two group games, and have no excuses for not advancing out of the group stage.

The first half was sloppy and didn't have a ton in it for either side.  But Sporting KC were the ones that were controlling the play. They didn't really create much in the way of chances early on though. The best was off a short corner as Ike Opara headed wide of the goal. In the 27th minute though KC grabbed the lead. After some nice passing through the middle, Graham Zusi chipped a ball into the box for an on rushing Soony Saad. Saad fired a left footed shot through goalkeeper Noel Valladares' legs to give KC a 1-0 lead. KC continued to have the possession after the goal but really failed to create much in the way of chances.

The second half saw Olimpia come out with a renewed push and put Kansas City back on their heals to start the half. Kansas City though did a good job of limiting Olimpia's chances though throughout the half. Their best chance came after a nice break where the ball made it out wide on KC's left. The shot though went just wide of the post, with Eric Kronberg appearing to have it covered if it had been on goal. The pressure that Olimpia was putting on KC left them susseptable to the counter and that's just what happened in the 67th. Off an Olimpia corner, KC cleared and got the ball up top to substitute, Dom Dwyer. Dwyer raced at the lone defender back for Olimpia and ended up getting pushed wide of the goal. Dwyer though did a great job of changing direction and cutting between two defenders to try to get a shot off. An Olimpia defender stuck a leg out to get the ball, getting Dwyer instead and the referee did not hesitate to point to the spot. Saad stepped up and while Valladares got a hand to it, KC went up 2-0. Now down two goals, Olimpia tried to find a way back into the game, but still struggled to get shots off. A flubbing of a cross by Kronberg almost gave Olimpia a chance but Opara was there to clean up the situation. KC's defense did such a good job of limiting Olimpia's chances, that their lone shot on goal came late on in the second half and was easily handled by Kronberg in net. KC now has no excuses for not advancing out of the group with the next two games at home.

Wizards Man of the Match - Soony Saad - A brace for the young forward, he was also a threat the rest of the night for KC.

Honorable Mention - Ike Opara, Oriol Rosell

Player Ratings - Kronberg 5, Jerome 6, Collin 6, Opara 7, Sinovic 5, Rosell 7, Nagamura 6, Feilhaber 5, Zusi 6, Bieler 5, Saad 8. Subs Dwyer 7, Joseph 6, Sapong 5.

1 comment:

hartley said...

Someday you will have to explain to me how to and how you calculate player ratings.

I just don't see how Zusi is only a 6 when he gets the assist on the first goal and practically was the hub of possession for most of the match. He was using some nifty footwork and turns to keep CDO's midfield and defense guessing.

I must say I was pleasantly surprised by Nagamura's performance. Maybe he is the missing piece in the midfield. But once Kamara is back on the field, Benny needs to sit while Zusi takes amid again.

Isn't it about time Dwyer gets a start up top? He is reading the game better and can do more on his own with the ball than Bieler is showing right now. And Dom is making the right runs -- where he sees the passes are going to be. There seems to be a disconnect between Claudio and the rest of the team right now. So, let's go with the Englishman. Great work by Dom up top and what a fantastic move to end up getting the PK. Do teams usually not let the player who drew the PK actually take the PK?

Finally, I would really like to see PV tweak the lineup a bit. I could easily see our formation morph to a 4-2-3-1 getting Zusi closer to the target forward. Zusi was pretty much there a good chuck of the time last night -- especially when he made the pass to Soony for the first goal.