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Sporting KC falls to first place Vancouver

A second half goal stood up for the Whitecaps as the take the victory 1-0

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Sporting KC
Vancouver Whitecaps goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic (24) stops a shot on goal during the first half
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The story of the first half was missed opportunities. Sporting Kansas City dominated possession as normal but could not capitalize. Diego Rubio had the best chances but Vancouver keeper Stefan Marinovic seemed to always be in the right spot.

When Daniel Salloi was taken down at the edge of the box in the eighth minute, referee Baldomero Toledo initially called for a free kick just outside the box but thanks to VAR it became a penalty.

Rubio hammered the ball off the post and the rebound was cleared out of danger. The missed penalty was the first of several good chances for Rubio.

A cross from Graham Zusi resulted in a point-blank header for the Chilean forward that went straight into Marinovic’s hands. Another header from a corner had the same result for Rubio.

Other opportunities for Sporting KC came up short before the half as well.

With Gerso a no-show for most of the first half, Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes brought on Spanish midfielder/winger Cristian Lobato to take his place for the start of the second.

The old fear of missing too many good chances coming back to bite a team came true for Sporting KC when the Whitecaps sent a searching ball for forward Erik Hurtado. With it just out of reach of Ike Opara Hurtado was able to volley it over Tim Melia in the 53rd minute.

Vermes brought Benny Feilhaber on for Jimmy Medranda a few minutes later to hopefully generate a goal.

While no offence was generated right away the game did become more physical and chippier for the next 25 minutes. Interestingly, Vancouver seemed to develop a lot of injuries after they went up a goal. Including the old can’t walk until the stretcher arrives and then stand up and walk slowly to the sideline trick.

A pair of red cards to each team at the end of the match did not change the result as Sporting KC could not find the back of the net to level the match.