The Chicago Fire is just not a team that Sporting KC really likes to face, especially at home. Since 2008 Sporting KC is 1-2-5 at home against the Fire. And today at Sporting Park once again Kansas City and Chicago played to a draw. This time a 1-1 draw on national TV as both teams capitalized on defensive mistakes to each take a point.
In just the second minute the Fire had a golden chance to take the lead. A poor square pass by Kevin Ellis was picked off by Mike Magee. The Fire forward dribbled in on goal and rounded Eric Kronberg, but with Kronberg's aggressiveness and Aurelien Collin's recovery, Collin cleared the ball off the line. Even with the early give away, Sporting KC had the better of play through out the half. In the 22nd, but Dom Dwyer tried his best Erick Torres impression, but Sean Johnson made the save. After a ball ran deep into the Chicago end, Paulo Nagamura pressure Jhon Kennedy Hurtado deep, the clearance by the Fire defender only made it to Soony Saad who fired a cross into the box for Dwyer. His first touch let him down, but with the ball bouncing, Dwyer fired a shot on net with an acrobatic scissor kick, but it was right at Johnson who made the save. The Fire were mainly relying on the counter attack and had another good opportunity in the 31st minute. Magee again got played in behind KC's defense. This time 1v1, Magee beat Kronberg but hit the outside of the far post and the ball was eventually cleared by Kansas City. Only a minute after that KC had the lead. The Fire got caught in possession in the back with Patrick Ianni getting the ball caught under his feet. Dwyer stepped in and won the ball from him. He raced in on Johnson and beat him to his near post giving KC the 1-0 lead. Shortly after that, it was the Fire taking advantage of a defensive turnover. Seth Sinovic was striped by Alex in the 40th minute. the Brazilian dribbled forward getting Collin to commit to him. He then slid the ball in to Magee who beat Kronberg 1v1 to level the game. Igor Juliao got caught up on the play, not sliding in to cover for Collin when he went to pressure Alex.
The second half saw Kansas City maintain possession for a good portion of the half, but early on they struggled to create chances. It was the Fire on the break that created the best early chance of the second half. After Magee knocked Kevin Ellis down he started a counter for Harry Shipp 1v1 with Collin. Shipp laid the ball across to Dilly Duka, but the midfielder flubbed his shot and it was easily cleared off the line by Collin. Shortly after this, Graham Zusi entered the game for Kansas City, returning from the World Cup. Zusi brought a different level to the game for KC and in the first few minutes of being on won KC two corners in quick succession. KC continued to pressure, but good chances were really lacking for KC. In the 90th minute KC had another good opportunity though as Jacob Peterson fired a quick shot from just outside the box. Johnson didn't hold the shot and the rebound fell to an on-rushing CJ Sapong, but the KC forward wasn't able to beat Johnson, who knocked down the rebound shot. Into stoppage time KC continued to look for a winner. Kevin Ellis received a pass from Zusi in the box and played a ball right acros the front of goal, but it was just out of the reach of Collin who had been up for a long throw. Seconds later the final whistle blew, forcing KC to settle for another draw at home against the Fire.
Wizards Man of the Match - Graham Zusi - Woke the team up in the second half when it looked like the team was beginning to fall asleep and run out of ideas offensively. He sparked the offense and helped to bring about some of KC's better opportunities in the second half.
Player Ratings - Kronberg 6, Sinovic 5, Ellis 5, Collin 5, Juliao 4, Olum 4, Nagamura 5, Feilhaber 5, Saad 5, Dwyer 6, Peterson 5. Subs Zusi 6, Zizzo 4, Sapong 4.