Thursday, October 22, 2015

Sporting Back Themselves Into a Corner

With a chance to once again clinch a playoff berth and to give them a good shot at finishing second, Sporting KC again came out with a flat performance and continued their late season slide as they lost 2-0 at Sporting Park to the Colorado Rapids. Kansas City controlled play for much of the game but couldn't put Colorado away, and letting the Rapids hang around they got hit twice on the counter late in the game to take all three points.
KC had the better of play and a lot of their attacks in the first half came down their left side through Krisztian Nemeth. The Hungarian was getting the better of Colorado right back, Marlon Hairston. Their best chances of the first half both came through mistakes by Hairston in controlling the ball. Both times the ball eventually came to Benny Feilhaber near the top of the box, but both times he fired the ball over the cross bar.
The second half saw Kansas City continue to control the play but fail to really create dangerous chances. The game as a whole felt like a return to the past few seasons when Sporting would get a lot of shots but very few on goal. Last night KC had 18 shots but were only able to put three of those shots on goal. KC's best chances of the second half came through Graham Zusi and Chance Myers. Zusi had a good chance that he put off the top of the cross bar after a smart run into the box and Myers hit the side netting after another run into the box. The inability to capitalize on the possession came back to bit KC in the 78th minute. Kevin Ellis had brought the ball up into the KC attacking third before giving the ball away. The Rapids quickly countered with Sporting only having Matt Belser back on defense. The Rapids were able to work around him, getting the ball to Dillon Powers. The Rapids midfielder got into the box and chipped the ball over Tim Melia as he came out and the ball rolled into the net to put the Rapids up 1-0. KC continued to attack after that and got some help in the 84th from the referee when Sam Cronin was sent off for picking up his second yellow card, putting the Rapids down to 10 men. Two minutes after the red card though KC found themselves down 2-0, again on the counter. After the Rapids cleared a short corner Colorado raced down the other way, getting the ball to Juan Ramirez who played the ball across the field to Marcelo Sarvas who dribbled into the box and fired a shot on goal that Melia got a hand on but couldn't keep it out. Sporting couldn't get anything out of their attack and fell for the seventh time in their last 11 games. They'll now head into the final game of the season against the LA Galaxy needing a win to guarantee themselves a playoff berth.
Wizards Man of the Match - Tim Melia - Got completely hung out to dry by his defense on both goals last night. There was little he could do on either of the goals and once again kept KC in the game.
Player Ratings - Melia 5, Abdul-Salaam 4, Ellis 3, Besler 4, Myers 4, Mustivar 4, Nagamura 4, Feilhaber 4, Nemeth 4, Dwyer 3, Zusi 3. Subs: Quintilla NR.

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