Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ten Man Sporting Top Toronto

Sporting extended their team record winning streak on the road last night to five games with a 2-1 win over Toronto at BMO Field. Kansas City did it after going down a man, losing Matt Besler to a red card after he picked up two yellows. In reality though it was not one of KC's best performances, Toronto easily could have been up a couple goals in the first half.

Early on KC had a good chance to take the lead, but Joe Bendik made a good save. After a weak punch by the TFC keeper fell to Igor Juliao, the Brazilian took a touch and fired a shot on goal but Bendik made a good save knocking the ball away. Toronto's Dominic Oduro caused Kansas City troubles all night down KC's left. In the 16th minute Oduro set up the opener. After Seth Sinovic went forward to win a header, he ended up flicking the ball into the path of Oduro. He got past Besler and then slotted a ball into the box for Jackson who had gotten past Juliao. Jackson rounded the Andy Gruenebaum and fired the ball into the net to give Toronto the lead. Things could have gotten worse in the 23rd minute. A through ball for Gilberto looked like he'd be 1v1 with Gruenebaum. Aurelien Collin came into a tackle with the Brazilian knocking him over. No foul was called but an argument could easily be made for a denial of a goal scoring opportunity. While the game continued, Toronto almost scored a second anyway. Oduro found space again down TFC's right and crossed a ball into the middle for Nick Hagglund. The defender's header beat Gruenebaum, but hit the near post and was knocked away. Toronto continued to pressure down KC's left with Oduro causing Sinovic all kinds of issues. In the 33rd Oduro again turned him and raced towards goal. He fired a shot at Gruenebaum's near post, but that shot hit the post and was eventually cleared away by Lawrence Olum. KC escaped the first half only having conceded the one goal, and were honestly lucky in that regard.

The second half though started great for Kansas City. After Benny Feilhaber got the ball into the box, the ball pinged around as Toronto tried to clear it away. Eventually the ball fell to Graham Zusi at the top of the box. Zusi took a touch and curled the ball into the far corner of the goal past a couple TFC defenders on the line after Bendik came out. But the same issues from the first half cropped up again as Oduro continued to cause Sinovic tons of trouble. In the 53rd he got past him again and played a cross that Besler cut out. The ball went right back to Oduro who was fouled just outside the box and Besler picked up his first yellow of the night. Sinovic on the play looked to have pulled up lame and was replaced shortly after by Kevin Ellis. KC did find some opportunities going forward in the second, Feilhaber had a shot well saved by Bendik after CJ Sapong chested a cross down into his path. Even with the change at left back, Oduro was still finding space and in the 65th should have been up again as Oduro found Jackson at the back post but he put his shot over the goal.

Toronto fans wanted another red card for a denial of a goal scoring opportunity in the 69th. Oduro again was at the center of the situation as he led a counter attack down KC's left. Juliao, who was covering pulled back on Oduro's jersey earning a yellow card on the play. The reason it wasn't a red card probably had to do with Oduro's position on the field, he was still wide of the sides of the goal box and there were three Sporting KC players that would have likely been able to cut off the play, which is what likely had referee Ted Unkel pull only a yellow on Juliao. In the 75th KC did finally go down a man. Again it came from an attack through Oduro. The TFC player received the ball out wide. As Besler stepped to him, Oduro touched the ball past him and ended up getting fouled as he went over Besler's foot. Sporting's captain picked up his second yellow of the night and was off. The red card led to KC needing to adjust, Olum dropped back to partner Collin with Jacob Peterson entering the game for Mikey Lopez. It was Peterson that stepped up to be the hero with KC down a man. A cross by Ellis was deflected towards Peterson. Like against the Crew, Peterson tried to spin with the ball, but only got a slit touch. The ball went to Dom Dwyer who back heeled the ball back into the path of Peterson who slotted the ball into the corner to make it 2-1 KC. Toronto threw numbers forward trying to find an equalizer but were struggling to create good chances as KC sat back. Their best chance actually came from attacking down the right this time as Jackson played a very nice ball to the back post but Oduro could not get a touch on it. KC was able to hold on and take all three points again on the road.

Wizards Man of the Match - Aurelien Collin
- While the left side had plenty of trouble, Collin had a very solid game. He could have been sent off for the challenge on Gilberto, but was strong overall in the back. He kept KC's back line organized, especially after Besler's sending off.

Player Ratings - Gruenebaum - 5, Juliao 5, Collin 7, Besler 4, Sinovic 3, Olum 5, Lopez 4, Feilhaber 5, Zusi 6, Dwyer 4, Sapong 4. Subs Ellis 4, Saad 4, Peterson 6.

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