Soccer is a funny game. Last week against the Union, Sporting KC created a number of really good opportunities and looked good going forward except when it came to actually finishing their chances. Last night in Columbus didn't look as pretty for either team, but KC got the single goal that was necessary as they defeated the Columbus Crew for the third time this season, this time, 1-0.
KC had the early possession and created some chances and created a few chances. Graham Zusi forced Matt Lampson into a routine save in the 6th minute. Zusi dribbled down the left and then cut inside before firing a shot that went into the arms of Lampson. In the 11th minute they had another decent opportunity as Soony Saad picked out Seth Sinovic making a run down the left. Sinovic received the pass and dribbled into the box where Lampson had to push the ball over the bar from Sinovic's shot. In the 17th KC finally grabbed the lead. A corner by Zusi was hit towards the back post for Ike Opara. Opara challenged for the ball but the ball ended up getting knocked down to the feet of Dom Dwyer. Dwyer's shot was blocked by Chad Marshall in the box and cleared out wide where it was collected again by Zusi. Zusi played another cross to the back post where Opara was unmarked and he headed the ball into the net past Lampson to give KC the lead. Columbus' best chance of the first half came in the 29th off a free kick as it was played on the ground to Bernardo Anor. Anor's shot was deflected and ended up going over the bar for a corner kick.
In the second half KC almost doubled their lead early. After a poor turnover by Lampson, KC had the ball deep in Columbus' end. The ball went wide to Dwyer who looked to shoot, but had his shot well blocked before he could get enough space. Columbus threw numbers forward, but for a second it looked like KC had doubled their lead in the 69th, again through Opara. From a free kick deep in the corner, Zusi picked out Opara who beat Lampson, but the referee judged Opara to go over the Crew defender to get to the ball and whistled a foul. Columbus really didn't test KC much throughout the game, they're best chance came in the 81st. Off a corner kick the ball was headed on goal and appeared to have Jimmy Nielsen beaten, but Sinovic, following his man jumped up and got enough on the ball to head it over the cross bar. Federico Higuain had a great free kick opportunity in the 86th. Instead of going up and over the wall, Higuain tried to catch Nielsen leaning and shot towards the far post but put the shot wide. Columbus offered little else going forward as KC walked away with a 1-0 win.
Wizards Man of the Match - Ike Opara - Scored the game winning goal and really helped to shut down the Columbus attack. The defense allowed the Crew just a single shot on goal the entire game.
Honorable Mention - Matt Besler
Player Ratings - Nielsen 6, Sinovic 6, Opara 8, Besler 7, Myers 6, Olum 7, Joseph 5, Zusi 6, Sapong 5, Dwyer 5, Saad 5. Subs Peterson 5, Bunbury NR.