Sporting KC Edge Out Victory Against Chicago Fire


Sporting KC returned to their winning ways on Sunday in a ESPN 2 nationally televised game against long time rival Chicago Fire. The Chicago Fire have defeated Sporting KC more than any other team. Sporting KC debuted their new white and silver alternate kits that are replacing the black argyle jerseys.

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Sporting KC had a couple significant changes in the starting eleven including benching goalkeeper Luis Marin in favor of Tim Melia. Soni Mustivar replaced Servando Carrasco at the defensive midfield position due to Carrasco serving a one game suspension for yellow card accumulation. Seth Sinovic was also given the start at left back over Marcel de Jong.

Chicago had the first scoring opportunity of the game in the 13th minute when Gully gathered the ball at the top of the box and made Sporting defender Kevin Ellis miss with a nifty fake shot then gathered the ball and fired a shot low towards goal but Melia read it the whole way and was able to deflect the ball away from goal.

Chicago had another opportunity just five minutes later when they crossed a ball in from the right wing and were able to head the ball towards goal but Melia was able to deflect it away and then ultimately cover it.

Sporting KC found their first real chance in the 31st minute when midfielder Roger Espinoza played a ball to Benny Feilhaber down the right flank. Feilhaber gathered the ball and crossed the ball to a wide open Dom Dwyer right in front of goal. Dwyer got his head to the ball but sent it over the bar.

Dwyer has seemed to be out of form so far this season and just seemed to think too much about the chance instead of just letting his instincts take over.

Sporting KC looked to have taken the lead in the 33rd minute when Feilhaber sent a free kick into the box and found the head of defender KEvin Ellis who directed a powerful header on frame but it caught the bottom of the crossed bull and just missed going over the line by a matter of inches.

Seth Sinovic had a big opportunity to score in the 50th minute when he found himself with the ball about 8 yards from goal on the left side. Sinovic fired a shot but Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson did well to stand tall and deflect the ball over the goal to keep the game scoreless.

Sporting KC head coach Peter Vermes made the decision to sub Paulo Nagamura in for Roger Espinoza in the 65th minute. The move was questioned but would later show its brilliance.

Defender Jalil Anibaba made a run down the right flank and received the ball. Anibaba crossed the ball into the front of goal and Nagamura rose high and flicked a great ball into the top left corner of the goal beating an outstretched Sean Johnson to give Sporting KC the 1-0 lead in the 75th minute.

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Sporting KC gained a giant advantage in the 89th minute when Chicago forward David Accam swiped at and made contact with Jalil Anibaba’s face. The side judge was directly in front of it and called the referee over. After a few words with the side judge, the referee showed a red card to Accam and Chicago would have to try to find an equalizer in the dying moments of the game with only ten men.

Sporting KC were able to buckled down and complete the shutout to capture the 1-0 victory. Sporting KC moved up to fifth in the Western Conference Standings with 13 points in nine games played.

Sporting KC return to action Saturday, May 9th against Eastern Conference leaders D.C. United.

Next: Sporting KC and Houston Dynamo Play Out Scoreless Draw