Sporting KC Steal Victory From The Philadelphia Union


Sporting KC were playing for their second win in a row on Sunday against the Philadelphia Union. Philadelphia was playing for its first win of the season, but was playing without Conor Casey who is out with an injury.

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Philadelphia wasted no time as they jumped on Sporting KC early. They whipped in a corner kick that Sporting KC goalkeeper Luis Marin tried to punch away but he missed and it hit forward Jacob Peterson and just crossed over the line in goal before Jalil Anibaba cleared it. The linesman determined that it was an own goal on Peterson giving Philadelphia the 1-0 in the third minute.

Sporting KC was able to capitalize on a goalkeeping mistake by Philadelphia when Benny Feilhaber crossed in a corner kick, Philadelphia goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi jumped to punch the ball away but the ball sailed over him and found the Dom Dwyer at the far post, Dwyer was able to head the ball into goal and even the score at 1-1 in the 16th minute.

The goal from Dwyer was a relief for everyone in the stadium as Dwyer has seemed out of form missing several chances in the first four games for Sporting KC. Dwyer will hope that his first goal of the season will take the pressure off and lead to many more goals this season.

Philadelphia had an almost immediate answer to Sporting’s goal when they sent a free kick into the box and found the head of Fernando Aristeguieta. Aristeguieta directed the ball back across goal and just beat an outstretched Marin to put Philadelphia back on top 2-1 in the 19th minute.

Sporting KC were on the verge of losing the game as it headed into added time, but Roger Espinoza chipped a ball into the box and Jalil Anibaba headed it back across goal and bounced just past the hand of Mbolhi and into goal to tie the game at 2-2 in the 91+ minute.

Sporting KC were headed towards a draw until Feilhaber sent a corner kick to the near post and Matt Besler flicked the ball across goal and Krisztian Nemeth got his boot to the ball just in front of goal and gave Sporting KC their first lead of the game making it 3-2 in the 94+ minute.

Sporting KC would go on to win the game despite not playing a very good game.

Krisztian Nemeth made the most of his return from injury. Nemeth started the season in an attacking midfield role just behind Dom Dwyer and Sporting KC looked their most dangerous with him on the field, but he had been battling an injury since then. It will be interesting to see if Nemeth can be the spark that Sporting KC needs as they have looked lackluster in the final third without him on the pitch.

Marcel de Jong and Seth Sinovic have been battling for the starting left back job since preseason with Sinovic starting the first game of the season then de Jong starting the next two and Sinovic getting the start in Sporting’s first win of the season against New York City FC when de Jong was on international duty with the Canadian Men’s National Team.

On Sunday de Jong was given the nod to start, but Sinovic was subbed on at halftime. De Jong seemed to get caught out of position a few times the first half and wasn’t having his best game, but it is unknown whether he was subbed because of his performance, fatigue from playing in the international game, or precautionary because he was sitting on a yellow card.

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Sinovic has proven to be the more consistent and reliable player thus far this season as Sporting KC has only allowed one goal with him on the field compared to the five goals they have allowed with de Jong on.

Former Sporting KC first round MLS SuperDraft pick C.J. Sapong made his first appearance against his former team since being traded to Philadelphia in the off-season. Sapong was subbed into the game in the 72nd minute to applause from the Sporting KC fans.

Sporting KC are now fourth in the Western Conference standings with eight points in five games played. Their next game is Saturday, April 11th against Western Conference opponent Real Salt Lake at Sporting Park in Kansas City.

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