Matt Besler was not the captain tonight. He wasn't even in the Starting XI. But he came off the bench to score the dramatic match winner in the 91' minute and remind us all what he really is.
It was a high flying, back-and-forth affair tonight at CMP. Sporting KC and conceded an early lead to Columbus Crew SC but would come from behind and get the 3-2 win.
As the game went into stoppage time, Sporting KC was going all-in for a winner. Every single player except for Tim Melia had came up for a corner kick and the ball was cleared away, but right to Medranda. Jimmy curled in a beautiful ball to the far post that Ike Opara sent back across the face of goal. It was placed perfectly and could have found any number of guys in blue. But Matt Besler, the guy who normally stays back as the fail-safe, was waiting for it. It was the easiest finish he will ever have as he simply nodded it across the line with his forehead. The goal was Besler's third of his career and first since 2011. Just as surprising, it was the first time all season that Sporting KC was able to score more than two goals in a match.
Columbus took the lead in the 22' minute off an unfortunate turnover. Jimmy tracked back and won the ball, but in stead of playing it out of bounds he tried to send it up field. He didn't make the contact he wanted and the Crew jumped all over it. Ethan Finlay played a simple ball across the box that was finished off by Ola Kamara for his sixth goal of the season.
But Sporting KC would tie the match just after halftime. Dwyer was tracking down a long pass into the box and was taken down by Tyson Wahl right in front of the goal. It must be said that Dom knew what he was doing, and there wasn't even a terrible amount of contact either. But his obvious goal scoring opportunity had, without a doubt, been denied. Ted Unkel took out his red card and sent Wahl to the showers. Benny stepped up for one of his patented stutter-step penalties, and calmly evened the match at 1-1.
With a man advantage, the home side was getting forward and hungry for a second. Graham Zusi, who was having a fantastic match to that point, won the ball in the midfield. He charged towards the goal and glanced up for an open teammate. But he quickly put his head down and it was obvious he had only one thing on his mind. In vintage Zusi form, he put his boot through the ball at the top of the box and there was nothing anybody could do about it. The ball whizzed passed Steve Clark and Zusi ran to the corner to celebrate the 2-1 lead.
But a single phenomenal pass from Tony Tchani would end the celebration in the 75' minute. He sliced through the Sporting KC back line and found Kamara who had made a perfectly timed run. Kamara took it into the box, opened up his hip and curled it into the side netting passed a diving Tim Melia. It was his second of the match and it brought the teams level at 2-2.
To Vermes credit, his team was clearly not content with the draw. They were throwing everybody forward and leaving themselves open to attack, something that came dangerously close to happening multiple times. But it would pay off in the end with the unlikeliest of goal scorers.
He wasn't wearing the armband, but tonight Matt Besler showed what he means to this team.
The win puts Sporting KC in 4th place in the Western Conference with 25 points. After struggling so much, this team is still above the playoff line and in a great spot to do some damage in the final part of the season. Next up, SKC will welcome another Eastern Conference foe to Children's Mercy Park. New York City FC will be making their way into
flyover country The Blue Hell for a match kicking off at 7pm next Sunday.