Sporting Kansas City finally got themselves off the mark with a win in MLS play tonight with a 1-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes thanks to a second half PK goal by Dom Dwyer. As might be expected after the two teams played CONCACAF Champions League games on Wednesday, the game lacked a lot of the bite that you'd expect from the match up, but both sides had their chances to pick up the win.
For the majority of the first half, Kansas City controlled the game. They did a good job of playing the ball around the field and had good movement, but their final ball was really lacking. KC had a really good chance in the 18th minute off a Seth Sinovic long throw. Ike Opara beat Jon Busch to the ball and flicked it toward goal, but Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi biked the ball off the line. The ball went to Sal Zizzo who fired a shot from outside the box that beat Busch, but hit off the post and bounced back into play where it hit off of Ike Opara. The deflection off of Opara bounced back off the post a second time. And with the goal open, Opara couldn't get enough of a touch on the ball to turn the ball in as it went out for a corner. KC continued the pressure and had another good opportunity in the 25th minute. After working the ball around the field, Kevin Ellis picked out Benny Feilhaber who dribbled into the box and squared the ball for Graham Zusi whose shot to the lower corner was well saved by Busch for a corner. As the half wore on KC also had a penalty shot as a cross went into the box for Zizzo who tried to touch it past Clarence Goodson, but ended up going down. No call was made though.
KC continued to pressure in the second half and won a corner in the 55th. Zusi played it short to Sinovic who played it back to Zusi. His cross into the box was headed towards goal by Opara, but Busch tipped it over the bar for another corner. Off that corner, San Jose cleared the initial corner, but the ball got played back into the box and in the mix of bodies in the box shouts for a hand ball went up from a number of KC players. Referee Ricardo Salazar agreed, pointing to the spot. Replays showed that Steven Lenhart appeared to bat the ball away from Opara and Aurelien Collin during the play. Dom Dwyer stepped up and sent Busch the wrong way making the score 1-0. The first goal by a forward for KC since Dwyer scored against Houston in the Eastern Conference semifinals. After the goal, the Earthquakes picked up the pressure a little bit, but struggled to create really good chances. They should have gotten level though in the 71st minute. After a cross into the box, the ball got headed back across the box to wear Chris Wondolowski was running in unmarked. But from just inside the 18, Wondolowski fired wide of Eric Kronberg's goal to keep it 1-0. The Quakes continued to pressure and Wondolowski again had a chance from a free kick in the 83rd, but fired his effort over the bar. KC withstood San Jose's pressure and picked up their first win of the season, 1-0.
Wizards Man of the Match - Benny Feilhaber - The man was all over the place tonight. He looked like a guy tonight (and has all season) that is trying to play his way onto the plane to Brazil for the World Cup. So far in my opinion he's doing a good job of it as he put in another complete performance.
Player Ratings - Kronberg 6, Ellis 6, Collin 6, Opara 6, Sinovic 6, Olum 5, Nagamura 5, Feilhaber 8, Zusi 6, Dwyer 6, Zizzo 6. Subs Sapong 6.