Sporting KC were facing a virtual must win game last night at Sporting Park against the Colorado Rapids. They left it late, but Sporting was able to take out the Rapids 2-1 and climb back into a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference.
Sporting KC came out and controlled the game from the opening whistle but didn't create much in the way of chances. Colorado almost gifted a goal for KC early on. A poor back pass to Clint Irwin forced him into a hurried clearance that went off of Benny Feilhaber. The ball though went wide of the net. Colorado almost hit Kansas City on the counter in the 22nd. A long ball was played over the top to Deshorn Brown who had gotten in behind KC's defense. Brown headed the long ball on goal but Jimmy Nielsen was well positioned and made a good save. Finally in the 33rd KC grabbed the lead. A long ball over the top by KC was cut out by Colorado's defense. Dom Dwyer and Hendry Thomas arrived at the same time for the header. Dwyer got a touch on the ball knocking it into the path of Feilhaber. He took a touch to control the ball and then fired a shot with the outside of his foot that curled past Irwin and into the net. A fantastic strike from Feilhaber left Irwin with no chance. The Rapids had a few chances for the equalizer just before half time. Brown again had the first opportunity, after some work down KC's left the ball got played across to the right where Brown fired a shot that Nielsen just got a finger tip on. On the ensuing corner, Colorado again almost equalized. First Thomas met the corner and put his header into the ground and it bounced up and off the bar. The ball then pinged around in the box with both teams getting a few touches on it before it got knocked off a Colorado player and out for a goal kick.
In the second half the Rapids continued their push for an equalizer. Gabriel Torres fired a shot from an extreme angle that went wide of Nielsen's post in the 49th minute. The Rapids again forced Nielsen into a save in the 63rd minute with a long shot from distance by Martin Rivero. Nielsen saved the shot but gave up a rebound. Aurelien Collin though reacted first and cleared the ball away. the equalizer was coming for Colorado though and they got it in the 77th. A cross by Rivero was headed clear by KC but only to Edson Buddle near the top of the box. Buddle hit the ball out of the air first time. Nielsen looked like he'd have the shot covered until it took a deflection off Matt Besler and went into the opposite corner tying the game at 1-1. The Rapids almost grabbed the lead in the 83rd on a KC mistake. KC was playing the ball around the back when Collin's touch got away from him. Buddle raced onto it and won the ball. He fired a shot that Nielsen knocked the shot away keeping the game level. In the 88th minute KC got back on top. A ball over the top by Oriol Rosell found Chance Myers on the wing, he one timed the ball into the box towards CJ Sapong. Sapong headed the ball back into the path of Graham Zusi who fired the shot into the corner putting KC back on top. The goal was enough to give KC the win.
Wizards Man of the Match - Jimmy Nielsen - A number of big saves throughout the game to keep Colorado from scoring. Abosolutely no fault on the goal that the Rapids did score.
Player Ratings - Nielsen 8, Myers 6, Collin 6, Besler 6, Sinovic 6, Rosell 5, Nagamura 6, Feilhaber 7, Zusi 7, Dwyer 6, Saad 5. Subs Bunbury 5, Sapong 6, Kamara NR.