One goal early and one goal late sandwiched a good defensive performance as Sporting Kansas City defeated the Columbus Crew 2-0.
Sporting KC started with the pressure early and controlled a lot of the first half. They survived a few scary moments in the second half with a few great saves from Eric Kronberg and the rest of the back line.
Jacob Peterson would be the first beneficiary of Sporting KC's high pressure early, setting himself up for an early goal. In the ninth minute, Zusi sent through a cross on the ground that was fought over in the center of the box before being directed over to Peterson, who finished it from about ten yards out. It was Peterson's first goal of the year and Sporting KC lead 1-0.
Columbus almost pulled one back in the 31st minute off of a cross. Will Trapp's cross found the head of Bernardo Anor, who snapped it down towards goal but Eric Kronberg moved quickly to knock the ball off the line. It will certainly be a save of the week nominee.
Going into the second half, Will Trapp would earn his first yellow card of the match when he went in hard on Paulo Nagamura, knocking him to the ground. It would later set up Trapp to be sent off when he earned a second yellow card. In the second half, Sporting KC did not have as many opportunities to score but they did have some. A great setup in the 49th minute from Benny Feilhaber sending a through ball to Zusi making a run on the left side turned into a perfectly placed cross on the ground to Dwyer. Dwyer, however, was not able to make the most out of the space he had and fired wide, keeping the score within one.
Columbus was starting to push forward in the second half, making their presence known. In the 57th minute, Anor had the ball outside the box and made a cut inside off of Seth Sinovic to set up his low, curling shot far post. Eric Kronberg, however, was there to catch it and keep the Crew off of the board.
Kronberg would continue to befuddle the Crew in the 65th minute when he dove to save a shot from distance by Dominic Oduro. He would then proceed to save Arietta's ensuing shot off of the rebound, but Arietta was offside anyways.
The 80th minute would be the first part of the Crew's nail in the coffin when Will Trapp went in on Benny Feilhaber and took him down to save a scoring setup opportunity about thirty yards out. Trapp would be shown the yellow card, which would turn into a red card from earlier. Columbus would play the rest of the match with ten men.
The Crew continued to draw the ire of the center referee in the 87th minute when Tony Tchani would be shown a caution for shoving Dwyer as he was being subbed off. Dwyer was taking his time and Tchani was trying to hurry him along, but the shove earned him the card.
Sporting KC capped off the match a few minutes into the five minute stoppage time period. Soony Saad drove up the field and caught the Crew back line off guard, getting the ball to Graham Zusi who chipped it to Claudio Bieler in the middle of the box. Bieler calmly put the shot in to give Sporting KC a 2-0 lead, the eventual final.
With the win, Sporting KC moved to the top spot in the Eastern Conference with fourteen points. They're back in action next Saturday as they take on Montreal at Stade Saputo.