Match Report: CJ Sapong Leads Sporting KC As They Beat Chivas USA 1-0

Apr 1, 2012; Carson, CA, USA; Chivas USA defenseman Ante Jazic (13) jumps on top of Sporting Kansas City forward Kei Kamara (23) while going up for a header during the first half at the Home Depot Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-US PRESSWIRE

Sporing Kansas City set a club record Sunday evening when they beat Chivas USA 1-0 off a CJ Sapong goal in the 47th minute and improved to a 4-0 record to start the season. Chivas USA had originally come into the game with confidence after a shock 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake last weekend.

Their confidence did in-fact tide over Sporting KC in what can only be described as an un-inspiring first half from both sides. But the lethal combination of Graham Zusi and CJ Sapong eventually broke through the resilient Chivas USA defense shortly after half time.

Sporting KC showed yet again that they can find a way to win just about any game with this one. After their 3-0 win two weeks ago against New England Sporting KC looked like a side that was simply unstoppable. But in the past two games their first half's have not looked up to par for a side that has been marked down to win the Eastern Conference. Again though, it's good to know that we can pull wins out of the bag while not playing to our best.


Keep Reading for more analysis and post game match ratings

For the record, I missed the first half of the game for what I can only describe as a terrible amount of procrastination on my part. I found out from reading tweets and other match reports that I hadn't really missed much. The first half seemed to be all over the place, both sides looked sloppy with their passes due to the slick wet surface and their weren't any major incidents to note except for the penalty shout after CJ was pulled down in the box. Apparently it was one of the most boring halves this season from Sporting KC.

I would have loved to be in the locker room during the halftime talk from Peter Vermes because whatever he said, it worked. Sporting KC came out for the second half of the game with an intent to win and one could clearly see that. Graham Zusi had been at the forefront of most of Sporting KC's attacks this year and last night's game was no different.

Zusi proceeded to waltz through the Chivas defense which had of course up to that point been sound. From seemingly out of nowhere Zusi ripped a shot that Dan Kennedy tipped onto the woodwark. The ball floated back to Zusi who headed a perfectly weighted pass to the unmarked CJ Sapong who then headed it past Kennedy into the Chivas goal. Giving Sporting KC the important first goal.

However, no other goals were scored and Sporting KC held onto a 1-0 win. Keeping them at a table topping 12 points from a possible 12 points.

Player Ratings:

Jimmy Nielsen: 7
The former Danish goalkeeper of the year played well and made some key saves for SKC.

Seth Sinovic: 6
Sinovic was again caught diving in this game especially against Smith who gave Seth troubles all night. Seth also missed one of SKC's best chances early on.

Aurelien Collin: 7
Collin had a good game, he was a little more cautious last night than usual and showed a different side to his game while still being KC's hitman.

Matt Besler: 7
Also a good game for Besler who had some good tackles and along with Collin held Chivas' forward Casey Townsend at bay.

Chance Myers:7
Chance helped Sporting KC's attack down the flank and also contributed his share to SKC's clean sheet.

Julio Cesar: 7
While you won't see Julio Cesar in many of the attacking highlights, it's the stuff that Julio does off the ball that really helps KC. Talking to the younger players and sitting in front of the back four certainly help out to the team.

Roger Espinoza: 6

Looking at his previous performances this season one could say that Roger should have had a better match. But something was a little off last night, his shots went astray and he just didn't look the same.

Graham Zusi: 7 - Man Of The Match

Zusi increased his tally to 5 assists on the season and looked good in the second half. But like the rest of the squad, could not get anything going attack-wise in the first half.

Bobby Convey: 6

I don't really get what Peter Vermes sees in Bobby, of course I've never seen him in training but he just hasn't looked up to par with the rest of the team. I would be more comfortable with CJ or Soony out on the left than him.

CJ Sapong: 7

A solid game for Sapong. He adds yet another goal to his season tally of 3 goals but looked out of fitness before Bunbury was brought on.

Kei Kamara: 7

Kei yet again lead the team in attack last night and added to his league leading 28 shots. He had a great header that was met by an equally great save from Kennedy.

Subs: Bunbury - 6, Jacob Peterson - 5

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