Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Olimpia Beat Esteli, Sporting Must Get Result on the 23rd

Sporting Kansas City will have work to do in their final CONCACAF Champions League on October 23rd at Sporting Park. Tonight in Honduras, Olimpia defeated Real Esteli 1-0 to bring themselves to 6 points, one point behind Sporting KC, who sit on 7.

The game looked quite similar to Sporting KC's game against Esteli last week. The home side dominated possession throughout the game but some poor finishing kept the Nicaraguan side in it into the second half. Around the half way point of the second half, Anthony Lozano found the back of the net to make it 1-0.

The win means that Sporting KC have to get some kind of result in the group finale at Sporting Park. A win or a draw against Olimpia on the 23rd will see Sporting advance to the knock out round in 2014. A loss to the Honduran side will eliminate Sporting from the competition.

The game could come at a difficult time for KC. Sporting should have a playoff spot locked up by then (magic number is 7 points won by KC or dropped by Philly/Chicago), but positioning in the playoffs could still be on the line. The game comes between the home finale on the 18th against DC United and the season finale on the 26th against Philadelphia. If KC needs a league result to clinch home field advantage, the East, or even the Supporters' Shield, Peter Vermes could rest some starters for the league games and hope some of the reserves can pull out the result. Either way, advancement is totally in KC's hands, they control their destiny.

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