Thursday, April 23, 2015

#TBT Best Comeback Ever

A couple weeks ago, Sporting Kansas City scored two goals in stoppage against the Philadelphia Union to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 win at Sporting Park. At the time the question was asked whether or not that was the greatest comeback for Kansas City all time. At the time I said it wasn't, and I still believe that. Instead, the greatest comeback in the team's history came against this weekend's opponent, the Houston Dynamo back in 2010.

At the time, Kansas City had never defeated the Dynamo in Kansas City since Houston had moved from San Jose ahead of the 2006 season. When the Dynamo came to Kansas City in late September in 2010, KC was trying to get back to the playoffs for the third straight year, having fired head coach Curt Onalfo two months earlier. To keep their hopes alive, KC desperately needed the win over the Dynamo, who were set to miss the playoffs for the first time since moving.

The Dynamo though grabbed the early lead as in the 13th minute, Cam Weaver was able to get in front of Roger Espinoza and slide a shot past Jimmy Nielsen and into the net giving Houston the lead. Shortly after that, Kei Kamara should have equalized as he got played in alone with Pat Onstad in the box, but Kamara hit the post keeping the score at 1-0. That miss came back to haunt KC in the 33rd. On a clearance into the middle of the field, Jimmy Conrad stepped up to challenge Weaver for the ball. Conrad left Dominic Oduro to do that, but Weaver won the header. Conrad's center back partner, Shavar Thomas didn't slide over to cover Oduro who was able to race in on goal and put the ball past Nielsen and into the net to make it 2-0. Kansas City responded immediately to going down 2-0 though as Craig Rocastle picked out Kamara and this time he made no mistake burying his effort past Onstad to make it 2-1. Unfortunately, Houston did the same to KC. After a foul in KC's end that appeared to be actually on Houston was called on KC, the ball was played into the box where Thomas' attempted clearance when right into the path of Adrian Serioux who knocked the ball into the net. The Dynamo went into the half with the 3-1 lead.

At half time, KC brought on rookie Teal Bunbury in place of Birahim Diop, and a new effort saw KC have the better of the start of the second half. In the 60th minute, Bunbury took advantage of a mistake by Onstad. The Dynamo goalkeeper slipped on a goal kick playing it directly toward Bunbury who reacted first and raced in on Onstad and slotted the ball between Onstad's legs to get KC within a goal again. KC continued to pressure, looking for the equalizer and in the 71st minute found it. The ball got played wide to Michael Harrington who beat his man 1v1 before crossing into the box towards Ryan Smith, who one timed it with his right foot. The ball deflected off Serioux and into the net tying the game at 3-3. As the minutes ticked off, it looked like KC would come all the way back, but in second half stoppage time, Nielsen cleared a ball well up field into the path of Harrington who had raced into the offensive end. Harrington one timed a ball into the box where Josh Wolff met it and flicked the header into the far post to give Kansas City the 4-3 lead and the win over the Dynamo.

For me it's the greater comeback because of the situation that KC was in at the time needing a win really to keep their playoff hopes alive (even if they didn't make it). Also because of the futility I felt at half time after watching the team down 3-1. Against the Union, while KC was down, Philadelphia wasn't playing well at all and goals were certainly there for KC, against Houston at the time I just didn't feel it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Agreed, that was the best kc comeback. I had a bunch of non soccer fans with me at the game that decided to bail when it was 1-3.
Made it that much better to casually mention the next day that we had won.:)