There was a familiar feeling on Saturday night as Sporting KC dominated play but was sent home with nothing. The Rapids were fortunate to find an early lead and they went into defensive mode for the entirety of the match. The visitors had all the chances in the world but simply could not beat the bunker.
Colorado took the lead in just the 11’ minute after a very poor decision that gave the home side a free kick in a dangerous area. Dominique Badji clattered into Ike Opara as they chased down a loose ball and while Sporting fans may have expected a foul going the other way, the referee whistled for an infraction on Opara. Shkelzen Gashi curled in a dangerous ball on the ensuing free kick that found Kortne Ford. The youngster went down low to head a powerful shot passed Melia and into the net for the 1-0 lead.
Sporting Kansas City dominated possession and created plenty of chances (as always), but really failed to test Tim Howard (of course). The goal for the Rapids was the first shot of the game, and seemingly the first time they even had the ball in the SKC half of the field.
Latif Blessing got into some dangerous spots and Roger Espinoza had a few looks on goal, but the best chance of the half for Sporting came in the 27’ minute. Benny Feilhaber got the ball in the center of the attacking half and turned to find Graham Zusi flying into the box with acres of space on the right side. Zusi settled for a chip that beat Howard but Bobby Burling was able to head the ball off the line and into the safe hands of the USMNT shot stopper.
The second half was more of the same story. Sporting KC bossed the match in every way except for one. Scoring. Colorado could not keep any sort of possession, but they were once again able to cause problems for KC with a couple set pieces. Despite playing such quality defense all year, set pieces continue to be an issue.
SKC came close countless times as the second half drew to a close. Seth Sinovic, of all people, almost equalized in the 92’ minute. He drove his laces through the ball from 25 yards out and it looked like THE moment. The ball was dipping, but it could only kiss the top of the crossbar and the wrong side of the netting.
Things got worse for SKC in the 93’ minute as Espinoza was forced into a tackle preventing a counter attack. It was a pretty ugly challenge and he was given his second yellow card - and an early shower.
The boys were defeated in a familiar, frustrating fashion tonight. Almost 74% possession with 25 shots to the Rapids’ six. 87% passing success and eight corner kicks.
But no goals.
Despite the loss, Sporting KC stays on top of the West, for the meantime. They have a three point lead on Dallas and Houston, who face off Sunday. Next up is Minnesota United at Children’s Mercy Park next Saturday.