Thursday, April 28, 2016

Sporting End Losing Streak, but Can't Top 10 Man Vancouver

Making four changes from the team that lost on the weekend against the San Jose Earthquakes, Sporting Kansas City ended their three game losing streak getting a 1-1 draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place last night. Peter Vermes inserted Connor Hallisey, Diego Rubio, and Jimmy Medranda up top while Alec Kann replaced Tim Melia in net. All four showed well when given the chance to start, but neither they nor the trio of Brad Davis, Dom Dwyer, and Graham Zusi, who all came on as subs could find a winning goal despite being a man up for almost 40 minutes after Kendall Waston was sent off for picking up two yellow cards on fouls against Rubio.

Vancouver started the game out on the front foot, taking the game to Kansas City winning a couple early corners. On the first one Waston found himself open in the box, but his shot was cleared away for a second corner for the Whitecaps. Unfortunately on the second corner, KC again didn't mark up well enough and Cristian Techera found Christian Bolanos unmarked, Bolanos hit a side volley while moving away from goal that beat Kann and gave the Whitecaps the lead after just 14 minutes. After the goal though Kansas City slowly started to get into the game more, pressuring the Vancouver back line and causing some trouble Benny Feilhaber played in some good free kicks that no Sporting player could get on the end of while Medranda and Hallisey were causing problems on the wing. The pressure was rewarded with an equalizer in the 27th minute. Lawrence Olum took a weak shot from outside the box but Rubio, who was on the shoulder of the last man raced onto it as it went towards goal and pushed it past David Ousted and into the net to tie the game at 1-1. KC continued to push the game after the goal and almost took the lead minutes later as the ball was played to Medranda at the top of the box who fired a low shot back across goal but Oustad did well to get down and slow the shot down and then grab the rebound. The Whitecaps countered and Vancouver forward Masato Kudo forced a save out of Kann. That was actually the last shot that the Whitecaps would officially record in the entire game. KC didn't fare much better, but did have the better of the play, keeping Vancouver in their end for much of the rest of the half.

KC continued the pressure in the second half, and that pressure led to Waston's sending off in the 51st minute. Rubio raced to try to get an errant back pass that was going between Waston and Oustad. Rubio beat the pair to the ball and touched it towards the end line. As he did that, Waston raised his leg and caught Rubio in the calf, knocking the Chilean over. With the man advantage, Vermes started to throw on more regular starters, first inserting Dom Dwyer for Rubio, then inserting Brad Davis for Hallisey, and Graham Zusi for Medranda as the final sub. Unfortunately for Kansas City they couldn't really do much with the man advantage. With only 10 players, the Whitecaps clogged the middle of the field and especially the box area keeping Kansas City from getting any clear looks on goal. For their part though Kansas City didn't take many shots of their own either. Even with all the traffic in front of goal, you would think that KC would at least attempt more shots and hope for a deflection to carry a shot past Oustad, but instead KC continued to pass around looking for a clear shot at goal that never came. Crosses were cut out by Oustad or the Vancouver defense before they reached their intended target and KC was forced wide with almost every ball. Before the game most fans would have probably taken a point out of the game, but after spending 39 minutes up a man (now 133 on the season) and not being able to take full points is disappointing.

Wizards Man of the Match - Diego Rubio - Rubio was a thorn in Waston's side for the 51 minutes he was on the field. He caused problems for the Costa Rican leading to the red card. Also did a good job of not just watching the Olum shot slowly roll to Oustad, instead jumping it for his first goal.

Player Ratings - Kann 6, Dia 4, Coelho 7, Besler 5, Abdul-Salaam 5, Olum 5, Espinoza 6, Feilhaber 6, Hallisey 6, Rubio 7, Medranda 7. Subs Dwyer 5, Davis 4, Zusi 4.

1 comment:

Ky said...

If you adhere to the formula of win and home and draw on the road, this is a good result. There is nothing to be taken away from a draw on the road during a short rest week; this is a good result. However, I cannot shake the feeling that we have not really progressed in terms of attacking prowess that when our first team attacking members subbed on, they could not find the back of the net against a 10 man side. I would have thought that they would have been able to walk away with all three points.