Thursday, July 14, 2016

Chicago See Out Storm, Down Sporting

After a storm delayed the kick off of the game for almost two hours, Sporting KC took the field against the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park in the second game of three in seven days for Sporting. Shuffling the lineup a little bit KC looked to extend their unbeaten run to six. Unfortunately missed chances, missed calls, and missed marks left KC on the wrong end of a 1-0 defeat to the Fire.

Things looked like they had started extremely brightly for Kansas City as in the first couple minutes Dom Dwyer headed in a Benny Feilhaber free kick thinking he'd put KC up 1-0. Unfortunately for Dwyer and KC the assistant referee raised is flag signalling offside. On replay it appeared that Dwyer may have just been a little bit in front of the last defender, although many people will argue when it's that close you'd like to see those calls given to the attacking team. KC continued to attack but couldn't make much of their efforts not testing Sean Johnson in the Chicago net. The 19th minute saw the referee crew again involved in the play that led to the Chicago goal. After a foul on Kansas City Chicago took a quick restart as the referee Hima Saghafi blew his whistle to allow play to restart. On the broadcast shortly after the kick is taken you hear another whistle from Saghafi that would seem to signify that play was dead. Play continued though with Razvan Cocis crossing the ball into the box for Michael de Leeuw who had lost Matt Besler in the box and he tapped it home. Kansas City seemed to hestitate just a bit after that second whistle and it certainly cost them as Besler especially completely lost track of de Leeuw. Things got worse for Kansas City minutes later as Nuno Coelho went down with what appeared to be another hamstring injury, the injury that had caused him to miss a month of the season. Coelho was subbed out and looks like he'll miss more time for Kansas City. Sporting though continued to control the game, keeping the Fire pinned back as they hoped to play the ball long and allow David Accam to run onto. KC though couldn't generate much in the way of chances. Jacob Peterson had the best of KC's chances in the first half, first making a good run into the box but then firing a shot high and wide of the post and then in stoppage time he got on the end of a Connor Hallisey cross but put his finish back across goal and into the post. The ball bounced back into play and seconds later half time was called.

The second half continued to see the same strategy for Kansas City as they held Chicago in their own end. Chicago for their part was very willing to let KC possess the ball 25 plus yards away from goal and play in crosses to out numbered forwards in the box. KC didn't get their first shot on goal until the 80th minute when Brad Davis forced a good save out of Johnson off a free kick. The final 10 minutes saw Kansas City really push the game, throwing Ike Opara up as a target forward trying to find an equalizer. Later on Dwyer forced a good save from Johnson off of a corner kick that had to be scrambled away after Johnson got down well on the header. Late on Davis had another great opportunity from a free kick, but curled it just wide of the near post as Johnson scrambled over. KC though for all their pressure fell for the first time in five league games and will now travel to Colorado to take on the Rapids on Saturday to close out this busy week.

Wizards Man of the Match - Brad Davis - Gave the Kansas City offense life when he came on, his set pieces were on point and had some of the best chances of the game for KC coming in off the bench.

Player Ratings - Melia 5, Abdul-Salaam 6, Besler 4, Coelho 5, Medranda 6, Mustivar 6, Espinoza 6, Feilhaber 6, Hallisey 4, Dwyer 4, Peterson 4. Subs Opara 6, Davis 7, Mapp NR.

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