Sporting Kansas City 1-0 Chicago Fire: Sporting KC Take The 3 points In Tight Encounter
Photo credit: Sporting Kansas City

Sporting Kanas City move up to 5th in the Eastern Conference after an unlikely goal from Paulo Nagamura in the second half was enough for Sporting to pick up all 3 points.

Chicago Fire put Tim Melia to the test within the first 8 minutes when a wayward David Accam cross looked to be drifting towards the far post, but Sporting’s second choice keeper did well to save the awkward chance, and the rebound effort from Shaun Maloney flew past the face of goal and out for a throw in. The visitors were close to breaking the deadlock again when Guly do Prado and Accam did well to link up after a Kevin Ellis slip outside the box gave Accam possession in a dangerous position, the defender allowed Guly to get the shot away after a sequence of passes, but his low shot was well saved by Melia.

Chicago continued their attacking pressure on Sporting in the 19th minute as Eric Gehrig was allowed a free header inside the penalty box, but Melia again was there to meet the chance with the save. Graham Zusi came close for the hosts after a good move lead to Benny Feilhaber squaring the ball to Zusi, but the midfielder dragged his shot wide of Sean Johnson’s goal in the 22nd minute.

Sporting KC looked to have awoken following Chicago’s early chances, as Dom Dwyer should had made it 1-0 to Sporting when Feilhaber chipped in a great ball towards the Englishman, but the striker’s header flew high and wide of the goal. The crossbar was struck moments later by KC when a Feilhaber free kick was floated into the box, and Ellis managed to latch onto the set piece, but the defender’s header smashed the bar from 5-yards out in the 32nd minute, which proved to be the best chance in the opening 45 minutes from either side.

Seth Sinovic gave Sporting an early chance in the second half when the defender ventured forward into the penalty box and tried his luck from a tight angle, but Johnson was there to stop the shot with a terrific block in the 50th minute. Melia was called to Sporting’s rescue once again when the keeper sprinted off his line to punch away a bouncing ball after Guly was played through by a brilliant Harry Shipp pass, but the Sporting keeper did well to keep the game scoreless after 55 minutes.

Sporting KC finally broke the deadlock in the 74th minute when Sporting substitute Paulo Nagamura was left unmarked inside the penalty box, and Jalil Anibaba sent in a beautiful cross to pick out the Brazilian veteran, and his header floated into the upper 90 to give Sporting the lead. The visitors were reduced to 10 men when Accam received a straight red card after the attacker lashed out at Anibaba, striking the player’s face with a deliberate flailing arm, and the referee showed no remorse and sent off the Ghanaian striker with 3 minutes to go.