Sporting may not have deserved it tonight with their play on the field, but they walked out of Sporting Park tonight with their second straight win of the season thanks to two stoppage time goals to give them a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Union. The game was book ended by goals as both the beginning and end saw the activity with the ball ending up in the net.
Just three minutes into the game the Union grabbed the lead. Off of a Sebastien Le Toux corner kick, Luis Marin came and completely missed the ball, which then hit off the shoulder of Sporting forward Jacob Peterson. The ball headed towards net where Jalil Anibaba tried to kick it clear but could not before the ball crossed the line giving the Union the 1-0 lead. The lead would last only 13 minutes before Sporting equalized on a set piece of their own. A corner kick by Benny Feilhaber was played to the back post for Dom Dwyer. Like Marin on the Union's opener, Rais M'bolhi completely whiffed as he came for the ball giving Dwyer a free header to put into the empty net and level the game at 1-1. The game was only level for three minutes though, as a foul by Marcel de Jong led to a Union free kick near the sideline. Le Toux played the ball into the box where Fernando Aristeguieta just out muscled Sporting KC captain Matt Besler for the ball and headed the ball from near the penalty spot past Marin and into the net giving the Union a 2-1 lead.
From there KC controlled possession in the game but couldn't find an equalizer that would count, although KC twice had goals called back due to offside calls or fouls. Dwyer was the culprit on both of them. The Union also had one of their own called back as a free kick into the box was knocked down by Marin into the path of Aristeguieta who put the ball away, but Maurice Edu was offside and the goal was called back. A couple minutes, Dwyer had his second goal waived off as he rose to head a Feilhaber corner kick in, but he used Union defender Raymon Gaddis to help him get height on his jump and the score remained at 2-1 Union.
The Union really should have put the game away late on as Aristeguieta striped Roger Espinoza of the ball in the Union's half and raced down the field towards goal. Espinoza caught The Venezuelan, tackling the ball away, but it fell to Le Toux who tried to curl his effort into the far corner, but Marin got a touch that carried the ball onto the post. The rebound fell to Michael Lahoud, but from close range he put his effort well over the bar. KC looked set to lose at home for the first time this season when a Feilhaber free kick from the sideline was headed clear towards Espinoza. The Honduran played the ball back into the box where it was met by Jalil Anibaba who headed the ball on goal towards the corner. Substitute, Krisztian Nemeth could reach the ball, but his play on it seemed to freeze M'bolhi who didn't make a play on the ball until it was past him and into the net tying the game at 2-2. With six minutes of stoppage time displayed on the board, KC still had plenty of time to find a winner and they did in the fourth minute of stoppage time as a corner by Feilhaber was flicked on to the back post by Matt Besler, where it was then turned in by Nemeth to give Kansas City the win. In the end, watching replays I'm not sure that Nemeth will get credit for the goal in the end, more likely it'll be a Raymond Lee (former SKC academy player) own goal. But they all count the same and Kansas City was able to escape with a 3-2 win over the Philadelphis Union.
There are plenty of questions to ask about KC though with regards specifically to the left back now after Marcel de Jong looked out of his element on the left side, being replaced at half time by Seth Sinovic who seemed to settle that side of the field down. We'll see if that has a long term effect on that Canadian international's playing time. But for tonight, KC will walk away with all three points.
Wizards man of the match - Benny Feilhaber - As of right now, a pair of assists for KC's midfielder. More was expected of him in the offense with Graham Zusi out and Servando Carrasco sitting deeper, and Feilhaber delivered with some very good set pieces that allowed KC to pull out the win.
Player Ratings - Marin 5, de Jong 4, Besler 5, Opara 5, Anibaba 5, Carrasco 6, Espinoza 5, Feilhaber 7, Peterson 4, Dwyer 5, Medranda 4. Subs Sinovic 6, Nemeth 6, Mustivar 6.