A dominant first half was followed up by a slightly more tense second half but Sporting Kansas City pulled through in a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Galaxy.
With the victory, Sporting KC moved into the second place in the Western Conference pending the result of tonight’s Portland Timbers’ match. The Galaxy’s playoff hopes were dealt a blow with this loss as they stayed 10th in the West.
The first half was dominating by Sporting Kansas City, bringing chance after chance and bullying the back line of the Galaxy. Gyasi Zardes was starting as a fullback for the Galaxy and was targeted repeatedly by the Sporting KC attack.
After a couple of early chances, Sporting KC finally converted in the 19th minute. Graham Zusi put a ball on an absolute dime in front of goal as Daniel Salloi cut inside and was wide open to put the ball away for the score. It was Salloi’s third goal of the season and Zusi’s seventh assist.
The control of the match did not stop there as Sporting KC doubled their lead in the 34th minute. A beautiful pass from Ille Sanchez found Seth Sinovic making a run to the center of the box. Sinovic laid the ball off to Diego Rubio, who tapped the ball in with ease for this seventh goal of the year.
Sporting KC took that 2-0 lead into the locker room at the half with many fans feeling secure in the lead.
The Galaxy would make it a little more tense, however, as they pulled one back in the 58th minute. Romanin Alessandrini took a free kick from 25 yards out and, with his left foot, curled a ball superbly over the wall and into the left-side corner of the net. It was Alessandrini’s 10th goal of the year.
The Galaxy continued to press in the second half, leading to Sporting KC having to make some defensive plays to keep the Galaxy from equalizing.
Due to water breaks there were six minutes of stoppage added to the end of the match. During that time, Matt Besler received a knock to the head on a duel and started bleeding profusely from his head. He was subbed out for Eric Palmer-Brown and a couple of minutes later, Sporting KC held on for the 2-1 victory.
Next up is the Western Conference-leading Vancouver Whitecaps, who will come to Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 8 p.m.