Saturday, April 26, 2014

Insult to Injury - Sporting Fall to New England Late

It was not a good night for Sporting KC in the Northeast. Not only did the team lose on the road 2-0 to the New England Revolution, but in the process lost two players to injury as well, as both Toni Dovale and Sal Zizzo both left before the hour mark with injuries.

Neither team really came out lighting things of fire, the Revs had the best chance early on in the 14th minute as a ball was put through for Jerry Bengtson. There were shouts for an offside call from Sporting, but the flag stayed down. 1v1 with Eric Kronberg though Bengtson pushed his shot wide of the post. While KC had possession, the Revs continued to have the better of the chances as Matt Belser blocked a shot by Teal Bunbury wide of the net. KC had a good chance in the 26th as KC patiently built the play up before it made it wide to Sal Zizzo. With space on the right Zizzo fired over the bar instead of testing Bobby Shuttleworth. The Revolution had another chance through Bunbury in the 32nd. After Kronberg knocked away a cross the ball fell to Bunbury who cut into the middle and after the ball appeared to hit his hand, fired a shot that Kronberg palmed over the goal. Just before half time, KC suffered their first injury blow, as Toni Dovale, in his first start for KC, went down injured and had to be subbed off before half time.

The second half saw Kansas City continue to try to find a way into the game. During one of those attempts though, KC picked up their second injury of the night. On a long ball over the top, Zizzo tried to get onto the end of the ball but couldn't quite reach it. In the process, Zizzo picked up a groin strain and had to be replaced by Jacob Peterson as another Sporting player went down with injury. In the 59th minute, KC had a good chance to take the lead. After some work on the left, the ball broke free for Alex Martinez on the right. Instead of taking the shot first time, Martinez cut back in and forced a corner kick from Shuttleworth, but the argument could be made that a first time effort with the right would have been better. Seconds later, Martinez had another effor that he did string first time, but fired wide. KC's efforts to get something out of the game got harder in the 74th minute. As the Revolution came forward, Aurelien Collin went in for a tackle on Diego Fagundez. Collin didn't get the ball and Fagundez went down. Referee Alan Kelly immediately went to the back pocket and gave Collin the red card. As a bias observer, I thought the red was harsh, but with the way that MLS referees have called games this year it's also not a surprising card. Immediately off the Revs restart KC won the ball and attacked the other way. Dom Dwyer picked out Benny Feilhaber in the middle. Feilhaber cut around his defender, but from the top of the six yard box fired a shot well over and wide of the goal to keep the game scoreless. While down a man, KC continued to have the better of position for much of the rest of the half but really didn't make much of it. As the game entered stoppage time the Revolution got more of the possession and pushed forward. In Stoppage time the Revolution finally made the extra man count as a cross from Darrius Barnes was knocked in by Teal Bunbury. Kronberg made a failed attempt to come for the ball, missing it, setting up the chance for Bunbury. KC tried to push forward and find an equalizer, but it's the Revs that ended up striking again. Off a cleared corner, the Revs broke the other way against KC's defense. Fagundez got in behind KC's defense, but Kronberg ended up making the save, the rebound fell back to Fagundez who headed a ball towards goal, but Oriol Rosell knocked the ball away with his hands, leading to a penalty kick. Lee Nguyen stepped up and buried the PK as Kronberg was frozen to the spot and the Revs went up 2-0. Seconds after the restart, the referee blew for full time and KC fell for the second time on the season (both times on turf).

Wizards Man of the Match - Matt Besler - Held the back line together through most of the match. In stoppage time on the Bunbury goal it appeared that Kronberg called Besler of the play, leading him to side step the cross.

Player Ratings - Kronberg 4, Sinovic 6, Belser 6, Collin 3, Myers 4, Rosell 4, Feilhaber 4, Dovale 3, Zusi 5, Dwyer 3, Zizzo 5. Subs Martinez 4, Peterson 4, Olum 4.

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