Sporting Kansas City took firm control of Group 2 with a good performance against Olimpia, earning a 2-0 win as the rain poured down. Soony Saad took home a brace and Graham Zusi picked up an assist in the win.
The game started off rather slowly, both teams trying to get a feel for one another while trying not to lose their footing on the slippery pitch. Despite the rain, however, Sporting was still able to get some good chances as the first half progressed. In the 27th minute, Graham Zusi played a ball through the box to Soony Saad, who shot the ball in between three defenders and into the net far post for the first score of the game. It put Sporting up ahead 1-0 as the rain continued to pour down in Honduras.
Saad's goal would be the game-decider going into halftime as neither team was able to find the net for the rest of the half. The away side led 1-0, but it was a precarious lead.
Sporting KC were thrown a bone in the 67th minute when Dom Dwyer was taken down in the box and awarded a penalty kick. Soony Saad stepped up and converted the penalty kick to give Sporting Kansas City a 2-0 lead in the 68th minute. Olimpia's keeper guessed right, moving to his left, but Saad's shot went above him into the high corner for the score. It was Saad's second goal of the game and in the tournament, and Sporting KC was controlling the game from there on out.
From there, Sporting held strong on defense to prevent any good chances from the home side. Sporting would finish the match with a 2-0 lead and earned a big three points to take a three-point lead in the group with two home matches left to play.
Even though the scoreline favored Sporting, the match was pretty equal from a statistical standpoint. Possession was won by Olimpia but they only held it 50.8% the entire game. They had the same passing accuracy at 79% and were even in most other categories. Where the match was won was in chances created and chances capitalized on. Graham Zusi's assist on Soony Saad's goal was a big chance that Olimpia never could replicate. Dom Dwyer put himself in position to earn the penalty which, again, was not something Olimpia could replicate. Sporting didn't dominate the box score, but they capitalized when it mattered.
Sporting now has control of the group with two home matches to play. A Real Esteli win or draw on September 24 in Honduras, coupled with a Sporting win one week prior, would give Sporting the group before the fourth match is even played. If Sporting doesn't win the group on Matchday 3, they'll still be in good position by the final game when Olimpia visits Sporting Park on October 23.
Next up for Sporting in league play is a home match with the Colorado Rapids this Saturday, where Sporting will look to get back into the Eastern Conference and Supporters Shield race against the formidable Rapids squad.