The beautiful game was on full display and Sporting KC turned in a dominant performance over rival Real Salt Lake to get the 3-0 win on a drenched night in KC. Feilhaber got the scoring started in the first half and Dwyer & Gerso added goals as well.
The blue guy came out swinging.
Sporting KC was able to control possession and create several opportunities right from the start. In the 17’ minute Benny Feilhaber would open the scoring with a screamer. Graham Zusi left a perfectly weighted ball just outside the box for on oncoming Feilhaber, who only need one touch to find the far post and the back of the net. It it was elegant and effortless.
But the home side was relentless against their long time rival. They continued to move the ball around and find creases within the RSL defense. The attack was coming from everywhere. Medranda was firing in dangerous crosses from the left, Gerso was finding space on the right with Zusi in support. Benny was pulling strings and Roger Espinoza was getting involved.
Salt Lake was able to get in the stat book with several shots in the first half, but they were mostly hopeful balls from distance that didn’t trouble Tim Melia. There was a scary moment in the 42’ minute, however, when Zusi was unable to deal with a floating cross to the back post. The ball fell right to the feet of the dangerous Columbian Joao Plata inside the six yard box, but his desperate attempt went wide.
Sporting picked up right where they left off when they returned to the pitch after halftime. They were lively and creative. Taking chances and persistently asking questions of the RSL defense.
It only took six minutes for KC to double the lead. Matt Besler sent a long ball over the top for Dwyer who did well to win possession. He turned towards goal and cut inside around one defender before letting loose. He fired a powerful shot on the ground that skipped across the wet grass and passed RSL keeper Van Oekel.
The good guys didn’t look back after that. Peter Vermes’ side stayed organized and focused. Salt Lake continued to take shots on goal, but they never created any real scoring opportunities. Soni Mustivar came on in the 70’ minute for a more defensive mindset. SKC began to allow RSL more possession as they looked to lock down the shut-out. But with two quality holding midfielders on the pitch, the visitors were unable to pose a real resistance.
Daniel Salloi and Soony Saad were both brought on in the final minutes and the fresh legs had Sporting KC pushing for a third. In the 95’ minute Gerso delivered the final blow to the red corner and the match was over.
It was an ugly night in KC. But the play on the pitch was beautiful, the Cauldron was in full voice, and the boys took all three points.
Sporting sit in 2nd place in the Western Conference with 15 points. Next up is NY Red Bull on Wednesday.
Somebody push the red guy’s head back in.