In a battle of last-place clubs, Sporting Kansas City did what they were supposed to do, defeating the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park to move out of the basement for the first time in more than a month.
Kansas City (4-6-5) got goals from Omar Bravo and Julio Cesar after falling behind via an early header from Camilo to extend their unbeaten streak to eight in all competitions. Vancouver (2-7-8) is now alone in last place overall and ninth in the Western Conference on 14 points.
Sporting was just inches away from taking an early lead in the fifth minute. After Graham Zusi’s corner kick passed through the area without a touch, Roger Espinoza ran the ball down and chipped a ball to the back post, where Omar Bravo rose up and sent it back across goal. Unfortunately, a sliding C.J. Sapong couldn’t get on the end of it and it ran out for a goal kick.
Sapong very nearly scored again in the 10th minute after a neat one-two between Milos Stojcev and Chance Myers freed up the latter to send a low ball into the area. Sapong managed to take it down but blasted his shot into Joe Cannon’s torso.
And despite dominating play for the first 15 minutes, it was Sporting that conceded first. Following a foul by Julio Cesar on the left flank, Davide Chiumiento served a dead ball toward the penalty spot and Camilo flicked it into the far corner, leaving the home team with an early hole to dig out itself out of.
But the Whitecaps advantage was short lived.
Kansas City equalized in the 32nd minute through a penalty kick from Bravo after Jay DeMerit took him down in the box then Sporting took the lead in the 40th when Bravo headed Zusi’s corner back across the six-yard box for Julio Cesar to whip past Cannon.
Vancouver made two changes at halftime, removing Chiumiento and DeMerit, and nearly equalized in the 53rd minute when Hassli turned Matt Besler at the top of the penalty area but sent his shot directly into Nielsen’s feet.
Both teams exchanged half chances from there with Nielsen cleaning up a handful of deflected or weak shots from outside the area and Sporting failing to take advantage of the space and time they managed to create.
But, in the end, Kansas City was happy to ride out the final minutes, sending on Kei Kamara and Michael Harrington to help see out a second-consecutive victory at LSP.