Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sporting Clinch Playoff Spot

Sporting Kansas City punched their ticket to the MLS Cup playoffs with a convincing 2-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes at Children's Mercy Park. With the way other results went today that slide them into the fifth seed and will now see them travel to Seattle on Thursday for a match up with the Seattle Sounders.

While Kansas City controlled the early going, it was the Earthquakes who had the first really good chance just 10 minutes in when a poor pass by Soni Mustivar led to a fast break for the Earthquakes. KC was saved though when Matt Besler cut down the angle on Chris Wondolowski and was able to eventually block an effort on goal in the three on three situation. KC almost paid again for not captializing on all their pressure in the 24th minute when Tim Melia made a save on a shot, but couldn't cover the rebound, Wondolowski collected and Melia pushed wide of his goal pressuring the San Jose captain. Eventually Melia got Wondolowski to retreat outside his box where he crossed a ball towards the back post that was headed towards to middle but eventually headed out for a corner by Kevin Ellis. KC was living extremely dangerous as they failed to capitalize on their possession. Minutes later Kansas City had the chance to take the lead from the spot after a hand ball in the box after a long throw in was flicked on by Ellis. Benny Feilhaber stepped up and coolly slotted his penalty kick into the corner to give Kansas City a 1-0 lead. Kansas City was able to take that lead into the half time break and with the Portland Timbers down 2-0 in Vancouver, Sporting looked well on their way to clinching a playoff berth.

The second half saw the Earthquakes continue to find chances off of mistakes by Kansas City. In the 79th, another Mustivar give away led to another fast break for the Quakes, but Wondolowski headed a cross over the bar after the cross in was a little high. Going the other way, KC continued to search for that insurance goal to secure their playoff berth. They had to wait until late on to get it when Feilhaber found Graham Zusi racing down the wing unmarked. Feilhaber played Zusi into the box where the US international fired the shot past David Bingham and into the net to give KC the 2-0 lead that was more than enough to see off the Earthquakes.

Wizards Man of the Match - Benny Feilhaber - A goal and an assist in what could have been Feilhaber's last game at Children's Mercy Park, Feilhaber pulled the strings on the offense quite well helping Sporting control the game against the Earthquakes.

Honorable Mention: Matt Besler

Player Ratings: Melia 7, Sinovic 7, Besler 8, Ellis 7, Abdul-Salaam 7, Mustivar 5, Nagamura 6, Feilhaber 8, Espinoza 7, Dwyer 6, Zusi 7. Subs Opara NR, Medranda NR.

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