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Off the Wall: Sporting Kansas City defeats Toronto FC 1-0

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Brad Davis scores his first goal with Sporting KC as they go 3-0-0 to start the year.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting Kansas City continued their hot start to 2016 as they defeated Toronto FC 1-0 Sunday evening at Children's Mercy Park. The home side improved to 3-0-0 on the season, their best start since 2012, when they started 7-0-0.

The big story on the night was Brad Davis, who came on as a substitute for Connor Hallisey at the half. Davis scored his first goal ever in Sporting blue in the 70th minute and it would be the deciding score for Sporting KC.

Starting off the game, Amadou Dia got another start at left back and Benny Feilhaber was ruled out once again with injury, leading to a midfield triad of Soni Mustivar, Roger Espinoza and Jordi Quintilla.

That midfield triad would be important as Sporting held 51 percent possession and limited the Reds to four shots on goal, all of which would be blocked by Tim Melia.

After coming on at halftime, Davis scored in a bit of a controversial manner. Davis was sent the ball on the side of the box by Dom Dwyer and he was chased by Justin Morrow. Davis pulled a move that brought Morrow to the ground where it looked like his foot may have been stepped on, but no foul was called. After winning the ball, Davis cut back toward the center and fired a shot into the far post net for his first goal of the season, and his first goal as a member of Sporting Kansas City.

The other significant event of the evening came in the 84th minute when Roger Espinoza was sent off. Espinoza went in dangerously on Toronto FC's Marco Delgado in a call that did not have a very good angle on Fox Sports 1, but it certainly looked like Espinoza acknowledged that it was a red card.

Down a man for the last ten minutes of the match, Sporting were able to hold on as they persevered against the Toronto onslaught in the final minutes. With their win, they maintained their position as top in the Western Conference and in the Supporters Shield standings. They have the weekend off for league play next weekend, but Matt Besler, Soni Mustivar and Roger Espinoza will be representing their national teams in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.