Sporting KC edges Tampa Bay Rowdies 1-0 in final group stage match
Major League Soccer Pre-Season
Sporting Kansas City vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies
Saturday, February 16, 2013
ESPN Wide World of Sports
55 degrees and clear
Video: Full Match Replay
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||0||0||0|
KC -- Graham Zusi (C.J. Sapong) 76
TB -- Luke Mulholland (Caution - dissent) 27
TB -- Shane Hill (Caution - foul) 82
Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen; Seth Sinovic (Bobby Convey 72), Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Mechack Jerome; Oriol Rosell, Paulo Nagamura (Michael Thomas 83), Benny Feilhaber; C.J. Sapong, Claudio Bieler, Graham Zusi (Adama Mbengue 80)
Tampa Bay Rowdies: Andrew Fontein; Takuya Yamada, Jay Charles Needham (Daniel Scott 62), Andres Arango (Keith Savage 45), Thurstan Johnson; Luke Mulholland, Shane Hill, Evans Frimpong, Jemal Johnson*; Devin Del Do (Kyle Clinton* 76), Sercan Guvenisik* (Raphael Cox 28)
|Shots on goal||6||0|
Sporting Kansas City defeated the Tampa Bay Rowdies 1-0 on Saturday night to finish second in Group B of the 2013 Disney Pro Soccer Classic. Graham Zusi scored his second goal of the tournament to give Sporting KC their second consecutive win and a 2-1-0 record in group play.
Sporting Kansas City dominated nearly every offensive category in the first half except goals. Tampa Bay had few chances from the run of play and had to rely on free kicks for scoring opportunities.
Zusi had the first good chance of the match in the 11th minute with a free kick just wide of goal. About four minutes later, Benny Feilhaber sent a diagonal pass to Mechack Jerome, who got behind the defense on the right side and sent a cross into the box. Zusi was able to redirect Jerome's cross on goal but Tampa Bay goalkeeper Andrew Fontein made the save.
Despite having Tampa Bay pinned in their own half for large stretches, the match remained scoreless after the first 45 minutes.
It was an improved performance in the second half as Sporting KC were more dangerous and sharper in the final third.
Claudio Bieler came close to scoring his first goal in preseason in the 59th minute. The striker received a lob pass from Benny Feilhaber, chested it down, but couldn't keep the volley from going over the crossbar.
The consistent pressure and chances for Sporting KC would eventually pay off midway through the second half with Zusi's goal in the 76th minute. The former Terrapin collected a C.J. Sapong cross, took a touch around a defender, and slotted a right footed shot past the goalkeeper.
Tampa Bay's best chance in the final moments was in the 85th minute but Sporting KC defender Matt Besler was in great position and able to clear the danger in front of goal.
Adama Mbengue, one of two players on trial from affiliate Orlando City SC, nearly doubled the lead in the 90th minute. Mbengue sent a low curling shot on frame that forced the goalkeeper to deflect it out of play for a corner kick.
Sporting Kansas City will finish their preseason with their final match in the Disney Pro Soccer Classic on February 23rd. The match will be streamed live on ESPN3.com