Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sporting Move to Top of Supporters' Shield Race

Sporting Kansas City got back on the winning track, and jumped to the top of the Supporters' Shield standings as they topped Toronto FC 4-1. A pair of penalty kicks by Dom Dwyer and goals by Sonny Saad and CJ Sapong helped push KC past Toronto FC and win the season series against TFC. Dywer upped his goal total for the season to 16, the second most goals in a single season in team history. He's now just two goals behind Preki's club record of 18 in 1996.

KC came out and pressured the game early on. The early pressured paid off as in the 16th minute. A Graham Zusi corner was cleared only to Benny Feilhaber at the top of the box. He cut past Michael Bradley and made his way into the box. He touched the ball past Jackson and the Brazilian brought Feilhaber down. Referee, Drew Fischer, pointed to the spot as TFC protested the Feilhaber was not going to get to the ball. After everything was cleared up, Dwyer stepped up and fired his PK into the roof of the net to make it 1-0 KC. KC kept up the pressure and in the 32nd won another PK. After Seth Sinovic brought the ball up the field, he laid it back to Feilhaber. The midfielder played a cross that looked like it was meant to go to the back post, but took a deflection off the referee Fischer right into the path of Dwyer. The Englishman took a touch and turned into the box. As he passed Doneil Henry stuck out a leg trying to get the ball, but only got Dwyer, bringing him down. Fischer again pointed to the spot. Dwyer stepped up again, sent Joe Bendik the wrong direction as he slotted the shot to the keeper's left to double KC's advantage. Toronto was having trouble getting through and really testing Jon Kempin in his first MLS start. But in first half stoppage time TFC got a chance and made it count. After a turnover in midfield, the ball got played wide to Dominic Oduro who had space down KC's left. He played a ball into the middle for Gilberto who had made a cutting run into the middle. Gilberto flicked the ball with his right heel as he wrong footed Kempin and slid the ball under him to cut the lead in half.

For the most part though, KC was able to contain Oduro throughout the night, unlike their meeting a few weeks ago. KC was more physical with Oduro, throwing him off his game and not allowing him to get as free as he did in Toronto. Early in the second half, Toronto should have leveled. In the 51st minute, a Matt Besler long throw was cleared to Gilberto who raced down the field. He blew past Igor Juliao who reached out and grabbed Gilberto but the TFC forward stayed on his feet. On on one with Kempin though, KC's home grown keeper came up with a big save knocking the ball away for a corner. KC went back to pressuring the game, keeping TFC pinned in their end. In the 64th, they added a third goal. Again off a Zusi corner, the ball was cleared only to the top of the box, where Saad took a touch, let the ball bounce and then fired a shot that beat Bendik inside his near post to make it 3-1. Toronto again had a great opportunity in the 71st minute, after some good passing, TFC had a great 3v1 break on Kempin. Instead of laying the ball off to one of his teammates, Jackson rounded Kempin and was ready to tap the ball home, but Aurelien Collin did fantastic to recover and tackle the ball away from Jackson before he shot. KC capped off their scoring in the 77th minute, again off the corner. This one though didn't need to be cleared first, Zusi's corner was flicked on by Saad to the back post where Dwyer, Lawrence Olum, and CJ Sapong were all crashing. Sapong got the touch that turned the ball into the goal making it 4-1. Toronto did find the back of the net again in the 84th, but unfortunately for them it wasn't the ball. Toronto substitute, Bright Dike fired a shot that Kempin covered easily, but Dike's shoe came flying off on the play and landed in the back of he net. It was a nice way to end the night with a laugh.

Wizards Man of the Match - Dom Dwyer - Scored the pair of PKs, creating one himself, but as a whole was a menace throughout the game for the TFC back line as he now has four goals on the year against Toronto, and 10 against the Canadian teams.

Honorable Mention - Lawrence Olum

Player Ratings - Kempin 7, Juliao 4, Collin 7, Besler 6, Sinovic 5, Olum 7, Feilhaber 6, Zusi 6, Saad 6, Dwyer 8, Zizzo 6. Subs Sapong 6, Claros 6, Bieler 5.


hartley said...

I find it interesting that your player ratings give Sinovic a 4, yet his ability to initiate contact at appropriate times kept Oduro pretty much out of the game.

Whistler Holiday Tips said...

There should be nothing more to discuss after your healthy conclusion.