Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sporting Take Down Timbers

Sporting Kansas City continued their current home unbeaten run with a win over the Portland Timbers 1-0 at Children's Mercy Park. Unlike their previous matches in the win streak where Kansas City has scored three goals in each game, Kansas City had struggles finding the back of the net again thanks to some poor finishing and good goalkeeping by Jake Gleeson. It took a flicked header by Jacob Peterson off a Benny Feilhaber free kick to give KC the only goal they needed.

Portland started the game on the front foot, pressing Kansas City in their own end. Kansas City didn't help themselves out as the defensive giveaways returned in the game. A poor clearance by Lawrence Olum allowed Ben Zemanski to set up Darlington Nagbe, but Alec Kann made a nice diving save to his right to tip the ball wide for a corner kick. KC came back and in the 20th had a chance of their own as Gleeson didn't handle a low cross by Peterson, spilling it right in front of his goal. The Timbers defense only cleared it as far as Feilhaber at the top of the box, but his shot with his left foot hit the cross bar leaving the game scoreless. Portland continued to have the better of the play as the half continued but both teams went into the half without a goal.

Early in the second half though KC jumped on top thanks to a free kick by Feilhaber that Peterson flicked on into the net to put KC up 1-0. The goal seemed to wake the Kansas City offense up as they started to create more chances for themselves. Only the goalkeeping of Gleeson kept KC from adding to their lead. Less than five minutes after the goal Dom Dwyer had been left unmarked on the back post where he received a cross, brought it down, but his shot high to the near post was saved by Gleeson. On the ensuing corner the ball made it to Olum who headed the ball back across goal, but Gleeson was able to dive back and get a hand on it to keep it out before Portland cleared up the rebound. Minues later Gleeson again denied Dwyer after he was played in by Peterson, the rebound fell to Connor Hallisey who had a good look but Gleeson was back to his feet and knocked that shot away. KC continued the pressure but Gleeson was up to the task. Late on the Timbers had a great chance to equalize on the counter. With a five on three advantage, Diego Valeri fed the ball wide to Jack McInerney who curled a shot towards the far post, but his effort hit the cross bar and bounced away. Minutes later the final whistle blew and KC walked out the winners.

Wizards Man of the Match - Jacob Peterson - Scored the winner for Sporting and had a strong game overall. He almost set up Dwyer for a goal shortly after his effort. And he did all of this when it looked like he'd sub out early in the first half.

Player Ratings - Kann 6, Medranda 5, Olum 6, Opara 7, Abdul-Salaam 6, Mustivar 5, Espinoza 7, Feilhaber 6, Hallisey 6, Dwyer 6, Peterson 7. Subs Porter 5, Ellis NR, Myers NR.

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