In the final road match of the season, Sporting Kansas City were without their two DP's and fell to the Philadelphia Union 2-1. The defending champs are now in danger of sliding in the standings and giving themselves a tough match up in the first round of the playoffs.
Early on, the game was wide open. With neither team able to keep possession, both back lines gave up several chances. In the first 15 minutes, Kronberg had already been tested several times and Dom had two chances cross roll across the open net.
Kansas City was not afraid to get forward and hold a high line in the first half despite being without Captain Matt Besler. In the 26' Aurellian Collin was booked for a challenge so far forward he was almost in Sporting's final third. While this led to more chances for the visitors, Philadelphia was finding success on the counter attack.
In the 29' The Union countered off a blocked shot and in no time, Cristián Maidana had the ball in the middle of the box with just Kronberg to beat. The KC shot stopper did well to make himself
big bigger and swallow up the attempt.
Despite a valiant effort throughout the half from Eric Kronberg, Sporting found themselves down a goal at the break. In the closing minutes, Olum gave the ball away in the middle of the park and the Union were off to the races. Hardly a breakaway with 3 defenders behind the ball, Philadelphia were patient in their attack. Great ball movement and angled runs led to an easy cross from Maidana to an easy finish from Brian Brown.
Although it was arguably against the run of play to open the 2nd half, Nagamura found Saad wide open in the 51st minute who was taken down in the box by Union keeper Zac MacMath. Referee Jair Marrufo made the easy call and pointed to the spot. Dwyer stepped up confidently putting home his 22nd goal of the season to bring the match level.
Pedro Ribeiro subbed on in the 69' minute and promptly gave the home team the lead. The 24 year old received the ball in front of the goal with all the time in the world and slid the ball passed a diving Kronberg.
Sporting won 54% of possession and weren't without their chances, but the set pieces were lacking the usual bite and back line was clearly missing Besler.
The boys now head to Costa Rica for Thursday's CCL match with Deportivo Saprissa, before they wrap up regular season play with NYRB at home on the 26th.