It was truly an absurd day at Children's Mercy Park as Sporting KC came away with the 2-0 win over FC Dallas. The visitors dominated most of the match, but were unlucky with several poor refereeing decisions. After one of the craziest first halves of soccer you have ever seen, things calmed down and SKC was able to get a handle on the match to close out the important win.
It was easily one of the most poorly officiated matches in my lifetime, but goal scorers Benny Feilhaber and Lawrence Olum don't care about that. KC's defense held up in the end to secure a shutout against a Western Conference title contender.
The pinnacle of insanity came in the 16' minute when Lawrence Olum tried to lay the ball back to his keeper. Melia, not expecting it, was caught off balance. The ball was ever so slowly rolling towards the goal line as Melia chased back for it. He went into a slide to clear it, but not before it had crossed the line by a yard. Melia's body had blocked the view of the assistant referee and no goal was awarded. It would only get worse for this referee crew led by center ref Jorge Gonzales.
As the match continued, FC Dallas would hit the crossbar as well as the post, be wrongfully called offside, and get robbed of a penalty kick. Approaching halftime the game was still tied at 0-0, although FCD could have been leading by three or four goals.
And then finally the breakthrough would come in the 43' minute... only it was for SKC. They scored off a bit of trickery from the training ground after Benny Feilhaber lined up for a free kick at the corner of the box 30 yards out. Olum lined up about two yards off side, and was left unmarked. Benny waited for him to jump back onside and then played a perfect curling balling ball right to where Olum had originally positioned himself. Leapin' Larry was returning to that spot, still unmarked, and applied the slightest of touches to send it passed Chris Seitz. Incredibly, KC had the lead.
If one goal against the run of play wasn't crazy enough, SKC would double it's lead just before halftime. In stoppage time, Feilhaber would take the ball into the box. He either did very well making the most of minimal contact, or perfectly executed a blatant dive, but the referee awarded a penalty. Feilhaber confidently converted the PK and the lead was stretched to 2-0.
The match came back to earth in the second half and play evened out as both teams were hot and frustrated at the referee. Neither side was able to create much of anything. It even seemed the referee himself was annoyed when he was very quick to hand out yellow cards to Melia for "time wasting" and Dwyer for some less-than-kind words as he was subbed off for Diego Rubio.
FC Dallas stepped up the intensity in the last five minutes as they threw men forward in hopes of pulling one back. Sporting KC did well to keep defensive shape and weather a barrage of crosses and long range shots. When the final whistle blew Dallas had the advantage in possession, shots, and corner kicks.
But Sporting KC lead the only stat that matters and came away with all three points in a wild and wacky 2-0 win.
The record moves to 6-8-3 on the season and KC is in 4th place with 21 points. Next up is Drogba and the Montreal Impact on Saturday, June 25th at Saputo Stadium.