Saturday, May 24, 2014

When a Draw Feels Like a Loss

Before last night's game, if you'd have told me that Sporting KC would finish the game with their eighth and ninth string center backs on the field and still pick up a draw against Toronto, I'd probably take it. But the way that it went down last night, the 2-2 draw with Toronto felt more like a loss. Sporting twice blew a one goal lead, both times after they'd gone up a man due to a Steven Caldwell picked up a red card.

The first half of the game lacked for chances for either side. Sporting kept the majority of the possession throughout the half as they controlled the game and attempted to shield the center back pairing of Chance Myers and Kevin Ellis from dealing more with Jermain Defoe and Gilberto. The possession worked as Defoe was denied service. The one big thing of note in the first half was in the 33rd minute when Myers went down with an injury after fighting with Defoe for the ball and drew a foul. Myers though stayed down clutching his left ankle. Reports after the game were not good as Myers is scheduled to have an MRI and worries are that his season is over.

In the second half though Sporting came out and quickly took advantage of their possession. Dwyer got the ball wide to Sal  Zizzo who collected the ball in the box before squaring the ball back into the middle for Dwyer who one timed a shot into the far corner past Joe Bendik and into the net giving KC the lead. Things got worse for Toronto in the 63rd minute when Caldwell picked up his red card. On a bouncing ball around midfield, Caldwell went up against Toni Dovale trying to reach it first. Caldwell missed he ball, catching Dovale squarely in the thigh. Referee Baldomero Toledo did not hesitate going to his back pocket and producing a red card. It was TFC though that responded first to being down a man. A turnover in midfield allowed TFC to break through Defoe. Defoe had acres of space as Benny Feilhaber couldn't close him down fast enough and Ellis shielded him towards the middle. Defoe ate up the space and then played a ball to Luke Moore who made a cutting run away from Jacob Peterson. Moore beat Eric Kronberg inside his right hand post and TFC was level. With the man advantage still KC continued to keep possession but really couldn't really test Bendik in the TFC net. In the 82nd they finally tested him. After working the ball from one side of the field to the other, Peterson played a cross into the middle that was cut out, knocking the ball into the air. Dwyer beat his man to the ball knocking the ball back to Paulo Nagamura who one times his effort, but it's right at Bendik. A couple minutes later though, Sporting won themselves a penalty kick. Again after a lot of possession around the top of the box the ball was cleared wide to Igor Juliao. The Brazilian touched it back into the box and looked to touch it past Doneil Henry. The ball went past but Juliao was knocked over by the Canadian defender. Toledo pointed right to the spot giving KC a PK. Dwyer stepped up and put the ball in the corner past Bendik to give KC a 2-1 lead. Once again KC couldn't hold on late as in stoppage time TFC again found an equalizer. Off a long free kick, Dwyer won the ball but didn't get it cleared far enough. The ball got knocked right back into the middle of the box where Bradley Orr had lost his man and beat Kronberg to the ball knocking it into the net to level the game at 2-2. KC went back on the attack with possession, but couldn't find another goal as KC settled for the draw.

Wizards Man of the Match - Benny Feilhaber
- When I saw Feilhaber sitting in the deep lying midfield position for KC I was disappointed, it negated his offensive abilities. But Feilhaber sitting deep actually helped KC's attack more. He was able to help get the ball out of the back quicker, distributing all over the field in Oriol Rosell's role.

Honorable mention - Dom Dwyer

Player Ratings - Kronberg 4, Sinovic 5, Ellis 5, Myers 5, Juliao 6, Feilhaber 7, Nagamura 6, Martinez 6, Dovale 6, Dwyer 7, Jacob Peterson 6. Subs Zizzo 6, Medranda NR, Sapong NR.

No comments: