Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Sporting and Houston Play to Scoreless Draw

It wasn't pretty, and it wasn't what most fans wanting KC to take the Supporters' Shield wanted to see, but KC left Houston with a point. KC finishes the season going 1-0-1 in Houston, a place they've struggled in the past. The result hurts their standing in the Supporters' Shield, but Vancouver's game tonight against Seattle is helping KC out.

The game started out poorly and if not for some good early saves by Jimmy Nielsen KC would have been down early. Will Bruin had a good opportunity early on after cutting outside on KC's defense, but Nielsen made the kick save for a corner. Shortly after, Bruin was played in behind KC's defense and from an rough angle fired the ball on goal, but Nielsen got enough of a touch on the ball to have it roll wide. Off the ensuing corner, Nielsen was again called into action off a long range shot from Corey Ashe. Nielsen pushed the ball over the bar though. KC started to get a little more involved in the play. Off a long cross from Chance Myers, CJ Sapong headed the ball into the middle for Dom Dwyer. Dwyer took a touch and turned, but couldn't get enough over the ball to put it on goal. The Dynamo continued to have the better of play though. Again Bruin had a good opportunity after he was played in behind KC's defense by Ricardo Clark. Right as Bruin was about to shoot though, Ike Opara did a fantastic job recovering and making a nice tackle to get the ball away. At the end of the half, the Dynamo had their best chance. Off a foul at the top of the box by Opara, Brad Davis stepped up and curled the free kick on frame, but Aurelien Collin had stepped back onto the line for the free kick and headed it away to keep the game scoreless at the half.

The second half saw KC come out with more urgency and begin to get some of the play. They struggled to create chances in that time though. Their best tests of Tally Hall came from long throw ins that Hall really struggled to deal with. Hall tried to come off his line many times on the throws and didn't reach a few of them, setting up chances for KC, but they couldn't really capitalize on them. KC's best chance from this stretch of possession actually came on a counter. On a ball over the top, Dwyer raced 1v1 with Eric Brunner. Dwyer tried to cut inside but his touch got away from him and the chance was done. At the other end of the field, Nielsen was again called into action after Bruin again got played through behind the KC back line. But Nielsen came quickly off his line and blocked the shot. The rebound fell to Kofi Sarkodie who fired his effort wide. The two teams continued to trade possession, with both sides getting half chances but not challenging the other goalkeeper.  Late on, KC got a half chance on the break through Teal Bunbury. Bunbury though didn't get enough space behind Houston's defense to get a good shot on goal. Instead his shot hit the side netting. In the end the two teams each settled for a point as the game ended 0-0.

Wizards Man of the Match - Jimmy Nielsen - Will Bruin said post game "Nielsen got them that point."

And it's hard to argue that, a number of big saves inside the first 10 minutes to keep the game scoreless and more as the game went on, Nielsen gets man of the match. Although it was a close decision with Ike Opara.

Honorable mention - Ike Opara

Player Ratings - Nielsen 8, Sinovic 5, Collin 6, Opara 7, Myers 5, Rosell 6, Olum 6, Joseph 5, Saad 4, Dwyer 4, Sapong 4. Subs Peterson 4, Bunbury 5.

1 comment:

Nathan Martin said...

14th different lineup in the last 14 games.

And even of those lineups this is probably closer to the bottom half than the top half for its relative strength.

Still as unsettled about a lack of a consistent lineup as before the game, but that team pitching a shutout at Houston is fine.

Collin is in the history books. His 12th yellow ties him for 4th most in an MLS season.