Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Winless Streak Stops

Sporting Kansas City finally ended their winless streak with a 3-1 win at Sporting Park over FC Dallas allowing them to jump back into the middle of the Western Conference playoff teams. KC now is sitting in fourth place in the West three points behind second place Dallas.

The first half didn't see any scoring but there were chances for both sides, Michael Barrios forced a save from Jon Kempin in only the first minute after he got space down KC's left side. KC controlled much of the half creating a few half chances, but for the most part kept Dallas pinned back in their own end. While Dallas had their chance early, KC's best chance came out the end of the half on a corner by Graham Zusi. Chance Myers beat his mark and put a nice header on goal but Dallas home grown goalkeeper, Jesse Gonzalez made a finger tip save to push the ball away.

In the second half the action opened up a lot more for both teams, as there was more action at both ends of the field. In the 53rd minute Gonzalez was in top form to twice deny Zusi. First with a flicked header off a cross from Seth Sinovic. Gonzalez got down and knocked the ball away, then got back on his feet and denied the second effort from Zusi knocking the ball out for a corner kick. KC finally broke through in the 65th minute off a free kick from the top of the box. Benny Feilhaber did the honors of taking the kick and curled his effort around the wall and into the far post. Gonzalez seemed to get caught leaning a bit towards Feilhaber going over the wall and couldn't make a diving save as the ball went in off the post and into the net to put KC up 1-0. KC was given a chance to double the lead in the 76th minute. A long ball was played over the top to Dwyer, Gonzlez came out for it at the same time. Dwyer beat him to the ball and Gonzalez knocked into him, referee, Mark Geiger pointed to the spot giving KC a penalty kick. Feilhaber stepped up again and sent Gonzalez the wrong way putting KC up 2-0. Dallas stepped up the effort again after that and cut the lead in half four minutes after KC made it 2-0. Victor Ulloa picked up a give and go with Fabian Castillo. Ulloa fired a shot from outside the box that Kempin got his hands on, but it hit up into the air behind Kempin and bounced into the net. It's a goal that Kempin will certainly want back, and be extremely upset with himself for not keeping it out. The hope for Dallas was ended three minutes later though by KC. Paulo Nagamura took the ball down the right before playing a ball in to Dwyer, who took a touch and opened himself up then fired a shot past Gonzalez and into the net making it 3-1 KC. Sporting killed off the rest of the game and finally ended the long winless streak. Hopefully it's the start of a return to form for the team.

Wizards Man of the Match - Soni Mustivar - While Feilhaber had the brace and did well, Mustivar was the man of the match last night. He controlled the center of midfield again in a way he hasn't since Roger Espinoza went out with injury. He kept Dallas from really getting much going over the course of the game.

Honorable Mention: Benny Feilhaber

Player Ratings - Kempin 5, Sinovic 6, Ellis 6, Besler 6, Myers 6, Mustivar 8, Nagamura 7, Feilhaber 8, Zusi 7, Dwyer 6, Nemeth 6. Subs Abdul-Salaam 6, Anor NR, Anibaba NR.

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