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Empire Statement: Sporting Kansas City defeats New York City FC 1-0

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Ike Opara scored his second goal of the year as Sporting KC defeated New York City FC 1-0 for their first win of the year.

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting KC earned their first win of the 2015 season while handing NYCFC their first loss ever as they took out the expansion side 1-0.

Ike Opara was the lone goal-scorer for Sporting, knocking in his second of the year. Luis Marin earned his second clean sheet both of the year and consecutively.

After failing to score a goal in their last three halves, Sporting Kansas City were on the board quickly at Yankee Stadium. In the 12th minute, Matt Besler sent in a long throw from the sideline that Ike Opara went up high to header towards goal for the Sporting KC lead. It was Opara's team-leading second goal of the year and Besler's first assist of 2015.

While Sporting KC held the 1-0 lead until the half, they did lose a player in the 39th minute. Graham Zusi went down and was grabbing his hamstring before being taken off as Sporting KC was forced to use an early substitute. Bernardo Anor came on for the injured Zusi.

The hamstring issues for Sporting Kansas City continued in the second half when Jimmy Medranda went down in the 67th minute. It would later be reported by Jake Yadrich that Medranda's hamstring had cramped up and that his substitution was only a precaution.

It looked like New York was going to get a chance to equalize in the 70th minute when the center referee pointed to the penalty spot after a handball in the box on Seth Sinovic. However, after a lengthy discussion with his assistant, the referee waved the penalty off and instead did a drop-ball restart. Replay confirmed that the ball never touched Sinovic's hand, which made the reversal of the penalty the right call.

Sporting KC, however, were on the ropes for the final twenty minutes of the game. In stoppage time, NYCFC had a couple of opportunities to equalize and had a golden chance in the 94th minute when Jeb Brovsky had a low and open header in the middle of the box, but he sent it wide to keep the home side scoreless.

The visitors held on the final few minutes and earned their first three points of the year with a 1-0 win. It was New York City's first loss in franchise history. Sporting KC return home next week to take on the Philadelphia Union on Easter Sunday at 6 p.m.