On a very hot night in The Blue Hell, Sporting KC dominated visiting New York City FC en route to a 3-1 victory. The home side had the better of nearly every statistical category and appear to hitting stride at a critical part of the season. They are now unbeaten in the last five MLS matches and coming off two matches where they were firing on all cylinders. KC got two goals from defenders in Medranda and Opara, and Benny Feilhaber added one himself.
Sporting KC would put the match away soon after halftime. The ball was bouncing around in the box like a little league match after a corner kick in the 51st minute. When NYCFC was finally able to get a boot on it for a clearance, it wasn't a good one. It only made it as far as the top of the box and Benny Feilhaber was waiting for it. He stuck is foot out to dink it back into danger with one touch. Ike Opara appeared to be dangerously close to an offside position, but he used his body to stay in front of the defender. Ike was strong enough to get one last decisive touch to beat Saunders. Sporting KC had the two goal advantage and didn't look back from there.
KC was all over NYC to begin the match as well. The home side created several chances within the opening minutes. However, they would use a bit of luck to get the scoring started in the 8th minute. Jacob Peterson whether it was intentional or not, chipped Saunders with his knee. Saunders got his hand on it and it bounced off the post. Benny was there to clean things up and give Sporting KC the early lead.
But the visitors would draw level just a few minutes later. In the 14' minute Pirlo sent Matarrita down the left flank. Matarrita played a ground cross to a wide open Frank Lampard who did well to get his body into position for the shot. The English legend only needed one touch to beat Melia and get his fourth goal in the last five matches.
The teams wouldn't stay level for very long. In the 16' a moment we have all been waiting several years for would finally happen. Jimmy Medranda scored his first goal for Sporting Kansas City. The ball fell to the young Columbian about 30 yards out. He took a touch and readied himself. Then as we have seen so many times before, he let it rip. But this time, it worked. It wasn't the hardest hit ball, but it caused enough problems for Saunders. He really should have done better with it, but you can't score if you don't ever test the keeper. The normal rule of bipartisanship and no cheering in the press box was temporarily put on hold as everyone high-fived to celebrate the fan favorite's long awaited goal.
After taking the lead in the 51st minute, Sporting KC did very well to lock things down and close out the match. When it was all said and done, they had fired 19 shots - nine of which were on target - they had 25 crosses, nine corner kicks, and 67% possession. By comparison they only allowed four shots to NYC and they won 22 tackles to the visitor's nine.
Tonight is the second match in a row SKC scored three goals, something they had not done all season until last week. The win gives them 28 points with an 8-8-3 record. SKC now sit in 5th place in the West, three points clear of the red line.
Next up is the Chicago Fire on Wednesday night in the Windy City.