Sunday, June 07, 2015

Sporting Finally Top Seattle

KC finally ended their jinx at home against the Seattle Sounders, picking up their first win in the club's history against the Sounders. And it wouldn't be a KC vs Seattle game without a late goal, only this time it was Sporting KC that picked up the late winner in a bit of controversial fashion from the penalty spot.

As expected, Dom Dwyer wasn't available for KC and the only true forward on the field at the start of the game for either side was Seattle's Lamar Neagle. While KC had he better of possession in the first half, they struggled to create chances, with a lot of their work coming down the wing and trying to cut inside since there was no bigger body to play the ball into. The chances that the did create came from further out from goal with the likes of Marcel de Jong, Benny Feilhaber, and Graham Zusi all having efforts from distance that they really couldn't keep on goal. Seattle meanwhile was creating fewer chances but they were putting their efforts on net. Neagle stung Tim Melia's hands from distance after being played in by Marco Pappa. Overall Seattle just looked the more dangerous, especially on set pieces, a pair of early corners looked likely to be the opener as Melia saved a header by Neagle and the rebound was cleared while a second corner went back post and was headed across the face of goal but no one got a touch as the ball went all the way through the six yard box. Outside of the dangerous set pieces though Seattle, like KC was limited to a lot of shots from outside the box. Melia did well to save and hold onto a shot by Pappa in the 19th after a poor give away by Amadou Dia. As the half went on KC was able to find some space on the wing and did get some good low crosses into the box, both for rookie Connor Hallisey, but on the first after a cross by de Jong, Hallisey put the effort over and on the second he just couldn't slide out and reach the cross from Dia. In the 36th minute Melia made probably his best save of the game as Neagle broke in on goal he fired a shot towards the corner that Melia got a hand on and knocked back up in the area. Melia immediately got his head up and located the ball, pushing it out for a corner before Neagle could pounce on the rebound. The biggest save that Seattle's Stefan Frei had to make came in the 41st after receiving a pass in the middle of the field Zusi popped the ball up and volleyed it on goal and Frei had to push the ball away for a corner.

The second half saw a lot of the same from both sides, Seattle creating few shots, but getting them on goal, while KC was limited to a lot of long range shots. Before the hour mark, Dom Dwyer made his return to the field for KC coming in for de Jong and pushing Zusi out to a wide position. KC looked a little more organized in attack with Dwyer on and Zusi able to play a more free role on the wing. Zusi almost set up Hallisey for an effort, but the rookie just couldn't catch up with the pass, instead losing the shooting chance and having to back heel it to Roger Espinoza who couldn't get his effort on goal. Seattle came the other way as Pappa danced around a few KC players and fired a shot on goal but Melia was up to the effort. In the 66th minute it looked like Seattle grabbed the lead as Pappa crossed a ball in to Neagle who put the ball into the net, but the offside flag was raised ruling the goal out. The assumption was that Neagle was who the flag was on, but replays seemed to show Neagle was onside and there was no replay to see if Pappa was actually the one off. In the 82nd minute, the big point of contention as Espinoza played a lifted ball into the box for Dwyer. Zach Scott tried to hold Dwyer off the ball as he tried to get to it while Frei came off his line. Frei went through Dwyer to get to the ball, knocking him over and referee Ismail Elfath pointed to the spot. Feilhaber stepped up and sent Frei the wrong way with a stutter step to put KC on top 1-0. KC held off the Seattle attack over the last few minutes and finally got their win over Seattle.

Wizards Man of the Match - Tim Melia - Finished the game with six saves and looked strong and confident in net for Sporting yet again.

Player Ratings - Melia 8, Anibaba 7, Ellis 7, Besler 7, Dia 5, Mustivar 7, Espinoza 6, Feilhaber 6, de Jong 5, Zusi 5, Hallisey 5. Subs Dwyer 5, Abdul-Salaam NR.

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