Sporting KC played their second game in CONCACAF Champions League on Saturday night, traveling to Honduras to take on the most decorated club in the country, CD Olimpia. Through a great performance, Sporting KC walked out of Estadio Nacional with a 2-0 victory. It was their second straight win and clean sheet in Champions League, and Sporting are in a great position to advance out of group play to the quarterfinals.
The match saw the return of Paulo Nagamura to the starting lineup for Sporting KC, who made his first start since June 22nd, sidelined with an ankle injury.
A steady rain came down at Estadio Nacional, but which contributed to the choppiness of play in the first few minutes. But after Sporting found their groove, they didn’t look back.
It took the visitors 27 minutes to open the scoring. Graham Zusi played a perfect through ball to Soony Saad, and Saad was able to beat the Honduran Noel Valladares. It was good news for Sporting KC fans after the team has struggled to find the back of the net in two consecutive league matches.
CD Olimpia pushed for the equalizer, with their best chances coming around the hour mark. Forward Carlos Mejia had one of the better chances for Olimpia after he found himself wide open on the right side of the penalty box. But he pushed his shot wide of Eric Kronberg’s goal.
Kansas City’s second goal of the match would come in the 68th minute. After clearing an Olimpia free kick, substitute Dom Dwyer latched onto the ball and took off on a 65-yard run. After being stopped in the penalty box, he cut inside, and was taken down by Mejia. The head official deemed it was a foul, awarding Kansas City with a penalty. Saad stepped up and blasted the shot past Valladares, who got a fingertip on the shot. But it wasn’t enough to keep it out of the goal, and Sporting went ahead 2-0.
The rest of the match saw Sporting defend their lead, although there was very little threat from Olimpia. With the win, Sporting KC sits atop of Group 2 with 6 points, and will finish off group play in Kansas City. The winner of each of the eight groups will move onto the quarterfinals which begin play next spring.
Sporting KC will return home on Saturday, August 31st to face the Colorado Rapids in MLS play. Sporting has lost four out of the last five league games, and will look to improve their form against Colorado.