Sporting KC played the Portland Timbers to a boring 0-0 tie on Saturday night in Kansas City. This was Kansas City’s second tie, and Portland’s third. Sporting KC ended the game with 16 shots total, but only two on goal.
There were several fair chances throughout the match for Kansas City. Set pieces proved to be crucial again, as Sporting’s best chances came from headers from Ike Opara. Once in the 45th, and again in the 78th minutes, the defender got on a cross from Marcel De Jong and sent the ball over the crossbar. De Jong had a better game for Sporting KC than last weekend, when the team lost to FC Dallas. The defender started taking corner kicks on the left side, and will likely continue to do so, as the service was quite good. Unfortunately, he will miss Kansas City’s next match against New York City FC due to his call up with the Canadian national team.
One good thing about the match was the new debuts we saw for Sporting KC. Jalil Anibaba started at right back, and while it looked like he was having trouble getting forward, according to Peter Vermes he was asked to stay there to help quell Sporting KC’s defense. When he did go forward, he had some good chances including a shot that just squeaked wide. Both Soni Mustivar and Servando Carrasco were subbed in during extra time, so we didn’t get a good look at either of them. Both seemed solid and didn’t have any major mistakes or triumphs.
If I had to give a man of the match for this game, I would give it to Jimmy Medranda because this match was extremely boring and he was very entertaining. From a true playing standpoint, Ike Opara probably deserves the nod.
Sporting KC travels to Yankee Stadium next Saturday. That game kicks off at 6pm central.