Sunday, April 06, 2014

Sporting and Salt Lake Draw in MLS Cup Rematch

Just like MLS Cup 2013 in December, 90 minutes could not separate Sporting KC and Real Salt Lake on Saturday night at Sporting Park. This time though there was no extra time and penalty kicks to decide the winner. Instead both teams walked away with one point after the 0-0 draw.

Salt Lake started the game off with some high pressure, which created an early opportunity for Olmes Garcia who got some space on KC's left and fired an effort just over the bar. KC was able to settle down and created some opportunities of their own. Graham Zusi fired a weak effort on goal after a combination between Sal Zizzo and Paulo Nagamura down the right. KC had a golden opportunity in the 10th minute. After winning the ball in their end, Matt Besler played a nice ball over the top to Dom Dwyer who got in behind RSL's defense. One-v-one with RSL's back up goalkeeper, Jeff Attinella, Dwyer tried to fire a shot to the far post, but Attinella made the save. KC kept up the pressure and in the 27th minute off a short corner, Seth Sinovic forced a good save from Attinella as he fired a shot from distance that had to be tipped over for another corner. Attinella was again called into action in the 34th minute. A Besler long throw was headed away by RSL right into the path of Benny Feilhaber. Feilhaber's one time volley though was well saved by Attinella.

KC continued the pressure in the second half with Aurelien Collin forcing Attinella to make a save on a header less than a minute into the half. In the 50th minute, KC had another great chance. Sinovic played a square ball to Zusi who got past his mark. Zusi tried to slide the ball into the far post, but it rolled just wide and out for a goal kick. You started to get the feeling it wasn't going to be KC's night, but they continued to push the game and create the better chances. Another came in the 63rd as Dwyer was once again played in behind Salt Lake's defense. Attinella came far off his line forcing Dwyer wide but Dwyer still got a shot off from no angle. His effort hit the post and bounced back into play for Zizzo. Zizzo's effort was cleared off the line by Nat Borchers and KC had another golden chance go begging. KC found themselves a man down with less than 10 minutes to play in the 83rd minute. Near the side line, RSL sub, after Devon Sandoval received the ball, Oriol Rosell came in with a challenge, not getting the ball. Referee Armando Villarreal did not hesitate, immediately going to the back pocket and showing the Spaniard a red card. After reviewing the play, it looked similar to the one that got Steven Caldwell a one game suspension by the disciplinary committee. Salt Lake couldn't take advantage of the man advantage though and both teams settled for a point. A disappointing result for KC considering the number of quality chances that they created.

Wizards Man of the Match - Matt Besler - Anchored KC's back line to their third shutout of the season, second in league play. With some better finishing he would have had an assist as well.

Player Ratings - Kronberg 6, Sinovic 6, Collin 7, Besler 7, Myers 6, Rosell 5, Nagamura 6, Feilhaber 6, Zusi 5, Dwyer 5, Zizzo 5. Subs Bieler 5, Dovale 5, Olum NR.

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