Seattle Sounders fans will be the happier of the two sides following a late winner in Kansas City Wednesday night at Sporting Park. A rematch of last year’s U.S. Open Cup final, which ended in similarly exciting circumstances ended with an extra-time winner from Seattle’s Djimi Traore to beat Sporting Kansas City 1-0 and take the 3 points.
MLS Rookie Josh Gardner received his first start of the season at left back for Sporting Kansas City. Kei Kamara also made a return to Kansas City after his loan spell at Norwich City in the English Premier League, coming off the bench in the second half.
Sporting Kansas City started the match with the same goal-scoring intent they had in Sunday’s 4-0 win over Chivas USA, getting their first chance 20 seconds into the match. Jacob Peterson took the ball from Seattle defender Zach Scott
, ran down the left before cutting inside and attempting a low, placed shot that was saved by goalkeeper Michael Gspurning.
Sporting Kansas City had another chance in the 13th minute when C.J. Sapong, taking the front-middle role on the night, shot from the top of the box but the ball sailed just wide of the post.
U.S. international, Graham Zusi, had a chance to put Sporting Kansas City in the lead in the 25th minute took a long shot on goal, only to be saved by Gspurning.
Seattle’s best chance of the half happened shortly after on a freekick from Mario Martinez. He curled the ball around the wall, and while Jimmy Nielsen saw the ball late it was close enough to him that he made the save look easy.
Shortly before half Sporting Kansas City had another chance to take the lead when Chance Myers sent a shot in from 20 yards out but Gspurning was able to block the shot.
After an exciting first half, the second half saw considerably fewer chances. In the 80th minute, Chance Myers sent a cross in that was headed by Kei Kamara back to Claudio Bieler who sent the ball far wide of the goal.
Kei Kamara, hoping to give Sporting Kansas City the win, sent in a deep shot from the corner in the 83rd minute but Gspurning swallowed up the shot.
Seattle snatched the points from what looked to be a draw in the fourth minute of stoppage time. Off of a throw-in which evaded several clearances by Sporting Kansas City players, Djimi Traore knocked the ball down and scored a close shot to give Seattle the 1-0 win.
Sporting Kansas City will go on the road to face Houston Dynamo Sunday, May 12 at 7 in BBVA Compass Stadium.