It wasn't the prettiest game of the season from Sporting KC, but they took care of business and clinched a top 2 spot in the Eastern Conference last night with a 1-0 win over DC. KC also, at least for the moment jumped into the lead in the Supporters' Shield race, hoping over Portland and New York.
The lone goal in the game came extremely early. In just the 7th minute, DC appeared to be controlling the ball in their end of the field. But KC's high pressure worked to perfection. On a pass back to center back Perry Kitchen, Peterson Joseph chased the ball down and forced Kitchen to play a back pass to goalkeeper Bill Hamid. Dom Dwyer though had anticipated the pass, intercpting it and putting it under Hamid and into the net to make it 1-0. KC continued the early pressure and caused confusion in DC's box, but their efforts did not end up on net and Hamid was able to collect loose balls in the box. Still in just the 11th minute, DC had a decent opportunity after a cross into the box was only partially cleared by Ike Opara. The effort though was skied over the net by Chris Pontius. In the 15th Ike Opara was able to get his head on a Benny Feilhaber corner, but it was right at Hamid. Hamid's save led to DC's best opportunity of the game. Jared Jeffrey got played in behind KC's defense with a great through ball. Jeffrey though seemed to freeze when 1v1 with Jimmy Nielsen and when Jeffrey tried to shot it, he shot right into Neilsen's stomach and he knocked the ball away. After the first 15 minutes or so the game really started to slow down and chances for both sides were limited.
The second half was limited in action as well. There didn't seem to be a lot of interest from either side to really push the game. KC seemed content to sit on the one goal and DC seemed resigned to their fate. The chances were really limited in the second half, even though DC held possession for the majority of the second half, they really didn't threaten Nielsen's net too much.
Wizards Man of the Match - Matt Besler - Sporting KC held DC to just one shot on goal the entire game, the save by Nielsen on Jeffrey. Sporting's defense limited a very poor DC team quite well. They were limited really to chances mainly from long distance.
Honorable Mention - Ike Opara
Player Ratings - Nielsen 6, Myers 7, Besler 8, Opara 8, Sinovic 7, Rosell 7, Joseph 6, Feilhaber 5, Sapong 5, Dwyer 6, Saad 5. Subs Zusi 5, Olum 6, Bieler 5.