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Kamara, Sapong lead Sporting past Quakes to end winless streak

Kamara Celebrate San Jose - DL

Photo Credit: 
Jamie Squire

LIVESTRONG Sporting Park | Kansas City, Kan.
Attendance: 19,974 (sold out)
Weather: 89 degrees and sunny
Video: Match Highlights

Score

1

2

F

Sporting Kansas City (8-3-1, 22pts)

2

0

2

San Jose Earthquakes (8-3-3, 27pts)

0

1

1

Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen©; Chance Myers, Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Seth Sinovic (Michael Harrington 23) ; Julio Cesar (Lawrence Olum 74), Roger Espinoza (Paulo Nagamura 92+), Graham Zusi; Kei Kamara, Teal Bunbury, C.J. Sapong

Subs not used: Jon Kempin, Dom Dwyer, Peterson Joseph, Jacob Peterson

San Jose Earthquakes: Jon Busch; Steven Beitashour, Jason Hernandez, Justin Morrow, Ramiro Corrales; Rafael Baca (Ike Opara 65), Brad Ring (Tressor Moreno 71), Khari Stephenson, Marvin Chavez; Simon Dawkins, Alan Gordon (Cesar Diez Pizarro 61)

Subs not used: David Bingham, Jean-Marc Alexandre, Sam Cronin, Sercan Guvenisik, Tressor Moreno

Stats:              

KC

SJ

Shots                

20       

7

Shots on Goal   

5

4

Saves                

3         

3

Fouls                

13   

13

Offside            

1      

1

Corner Kicks    

4  

1

Misconduct Summary:

KC – Roger Espinoza (caution; reckless foul) 29
SJ – Alan Gordon (caution; reckless tackle) 45
SJ – Jason Hernandez (caution; reckless tackle) 61
KC – Lawrence Olum (caution; tactical foul) 79
KC – Jimmy Nielsen (caution; delaying a restart) 93+

Scoring Summary:

KC – C.J. Sapong 4 (Kei Kamara 3, Graham Zusi 7) 5
KC – Kei Kamara 5 (Michael Harrington 1, Chance Myers 3) 39
SJ – Simon Dawkins 2 (Ramiro Corrales 3) 72

Sporting Kansas City picked up the team’s eighth win of the season, second most in MLS, with a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Kei Kamara assisted on C.J. Sapong’s goal in the fourth minute and scored the match-winner in the 39th minute as Sporting KC improved to 8-3-1 overall and 6-1-1 against the Western Conference.

The action started early in front of the standing-room only crowd of 19,974 at LSP for the nationally broadcast affair. Goalkeeper and team captain Jimmy Nielsen made his first of three saves in the match in the game’s opening minute to turn away an attempt from midfielder Marvin Chavez, who cut inside Chance Myers and fired a shot from the left side of the penalty area.

In the third minute, Kamara’s header missed wide on a corner kick from Graham Zusi, but just over a minute later it was the Sierra Leonean’s service that opened the scoring. His cross from the right flank found Sapong streaking toward the back post and the reigning MLS Rookie of the Year struck it first time with a sliding left-footed volley to give Sporting KC the early 1-0 lead.

Zusi earned his seventh assist of the season, second most in MLS, while Sapong scored his fourth goal of the year and first in seven games. Kamara, who notched his third assist of the campaign, continued to play a pivotal part in the Sporting KC attack with a shot in the 18th minute that went narrowly high of the near post following a give-and-go with Roger Espinoza.

Four minutes later it was Teal Bunbury’s turn to fire at the San Jose net, receiving a pass from Kamara on the right side of the penalty area and sending his shot inches wide of the far post on his second attempt.

The Earthquakes, who lead MLS in shots this season, registered only two shots in the opening 45 minutes and the second came on a dipping volley from Steven Beitashour in the 31st minute. Nielsen extended to his right to push away the long-range effort and deny the defender his first goal in more than two years.

Sporting KC threatened, again through Kamara, in the 36th minute as he won the ball back near the endline and whipped in a delivery from the right sideline. The ball eluded Bunbury at the near post but central defender Aurelien Collin came crashing through the middle of the area and could only connect with the cross using his thigh and San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch smothered the opportunity.

Kamara’s strong play would reap its rewards in the 39th minute with his team-leading fifth goal of the season. Michael Harrington, who came on in the first half as a result of Seth Sinovic suffering a cut to his left hand, sent in a well-placed cross from the left touchline. Kamara rose above his defender and powered his header past Busch for the eventual match-winner.

After the break, Sporting KC kept up the pressure with Zusi pushing his volley narrowly wide in the 52nd minute, but San Jose would cut the lead in half with just under 20 minutes to play. Nielsen had held onto a chip from Chavez in the 70th minute to keep the clean sheet intact, but the Danish netminder could do little about Simon Dawkins’ curling shot from the top of the penalty area moments later.

The striker, on loan from Tottenham, collected a header from Ramiro Corrales and dribbled at Collin before unleashing his shot inside the side netting for his second goal of the season.

San Jose has made a habit of late-game comebacks with goals in the 88th minute or later in each of the team’s last three matches, including a three-goal rally over the LA Galaxy on Wednesday, but couldn’t manage a shot in the game’s final 15 minutes.

Instead it was Sporting Kansas City that came closest to scoring in the closing minutes, with Zusi sending a shot wide and forcing Busch into a superb save in the 84th minute.

Sporting Kansas City will next turn their attention to the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup ahead of Tuesday’s third round meeting with Orlando City SC at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Tickets are available to purchase online at Ticketmaster.com or at the LSP Box Offices.

FAST FACTS:

  • With the win, Sporting Kansas City’s record moves to 8-3-1 in 2012 and 5-1-0 at home this season.
  • Today’s win marks Sporting KC’s first win since beating the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1 on April 18th.
  • With the win today, Sporting Kansas City now leads MLS in points per game with 2.08 on 25 points in 12 matches.
  •  C.J. Sapong scored the first goal of the game in the fifth minute of play. The goal is Sapong’s fourth of the season and Sapong’s first goal since April 1, 2012.
  • In Sapong’s two seasons with the club, Sporting Kansas City is 9-0-0 when he scores.
  • Graham Zusi and Kei Kamara were credited with the assists on Sapong’s goal. Zusi’s seventh of the season gives him second most in MLS this season, while Kamara recorded his third of the year.
  • Zusi leads MLS with 0.58 assists per game this season.
  • Kei Kamara scored the second goal of the match and his game-winning goal moves him into a tie with Digital Takawira for fourth on the club’s all-time chart.
  • Kamara’s goal was assisted by Michael Harrington, his first assist of the season.
  • Kamara is tied for seventh in the League for goals scored with five.
  • Kamara is tied for the League lead with 23 shots on goal this season. He ranks second in shots behind Fredy Montero.
  • Harrington’s assist was his first game-winning assist of 2012, but fifth of his career.
  • Chance Myers also earned an assist on Kamara’s goal, marking his third in 2012 and fifth all-time. All three of Myers assists in 2012 came on Kamara goals.
  • Sporting Kansas City’s four assists on Sunday marked a team-high this season and was fourth-most by a team in MLS this season.
  • Sporting Kansas City is tied for the League lead with nine game-winning assists this year.
  • Simon Dawkins scored the lone goal of the game for San Jose in the 72nd minute, his second goal this season.
  • Ramiro Corrales had the assist on San Jose’s goal, his third of 2012.
  • Sporting Kansas City’s all-time record moves back to .500 and stands at 202-202-101 and 136-73-43 at home in the team’s 17-year history.
  • With the win, Sporting Kansas City leveled the all-time series at 20-20-7 against the Earthquakes.
  • Sporting Kansas City has beaten San Jose seven consecutive times at home during the regular season and nine times in a row at home during all competition.
  • The seven-game regular season winning streak at home is the longest active winning streak that Sporting Kansas City holds against an MLS opponent. In fact, among active teams, San Jose is the only team Sporting KC has a current home winning streak against of more than two games in the regular season.
  • Sporting Kansas City leads MLS in corner kicks this season with 81. 
  • Jimmy Nielsen is tied for the League lead with eight wins on the year. 
  • SportingKansas City is 26-35-17 all-time in the month of May. Tonight’s win marks the first time Sporting Kansas City has won a match in the month of May in any of the last three years. The last May win prior to Sunday dates back to May 16, 2009 in a 2-0 win at RSL – a span of 13 straight May matches without a win.
  • Sunday marked the first time since the 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs that Sporting Kansas City started the frontline of Teal Bunbury, C.J. Sapong and Kei Kamara.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 17-2-2 with Chance Myers, Seth Sinovic, Matt Besler and Aurelien Collin starting in defense.
  • Sporting Kansas City has now scored first in 9 of 12 games this season. Sporting KC is 7-1-1 when scoring first.
  • Tonight marks the third time Sporting Kansas City scored two first half goals this season. The other two times were in the home opener at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park when they beat the New England Revolution 3-0 on March 17th and against the Colorado Rapids on May 19th.
  • San Jose was without strikers Steven Lenhart, who was suspended for yellow card accumulation, and Chris Wondolowski, who is currently playing with the United States Men’s National Team.
  • Sporting Kansas City winger Bobby Convey, who turned 29 on Sunday, missed the match with a left calf strain. 
  • Sporting Kansas City is now 4-1-1 when leading at halftime.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 7-2-1 when wearing Sporting Blue.
  • SportingKansas City is 6-1-1 against Western Conference opponents. Seattle Sounders FC are the only team from the Western Conference that Sporting has left to play.
  • Tonight’s attendance was 19,974 – the third largest crowd of the season.
  • Sporting Kansas City hosts Orlando City SC at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on Tuesday at 7:30pm in the Lamar Hunt U.S Open Cup.