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Recap: Kamara leaves it late in SKC's 2-1 win over Dallas

Sunday, March 25, 2012, 6:00 p.m. CT
English TV: KSMO
Spanish TV: Galavision
Spanish Radio: La Gran D 1340 AM

LIVESTRONG Sporting Park | Kansas City, Kansas
Attendance: 15,161
Weather: 81 degrees, sunny
Video: Match Highlights

Score                                                 1 2 F
Sporting Kansas City (3-0-0, 9 pts)          1 1 2
FC Dallas (1-1-1, 4 pts)                        1 0 1

Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen©; Chance Myers, Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Seth Sinovic ; Julio Cesar, Roger Espinoza, Graham Zusi (Lawrence Olum 91+); Kei Kamara, C.J. Sapong, Bobby Convey (Jacob Peterson 93+)

Subs not used: Jon Kempin, Dom Dwyer, Michael Harrington, Paulo Nagamura, Luke Sassano

FC Dallas: Kevin Hartman; Zach Loyd, Hernan Pertuz, Ugo Ihemelu, George John; Jair Benitez, Andrew Jackson, Daniel Hernandez, Bryan Leyva (Andrew Wiedeman 70), Ricardo Villar (Bobby Warshaw 46, Luis Perea 90); Blas Perez

Subs not used: Chris Seitz, Bruno Guarda, Matt Hedges, Alex Lee

Stats:                          KC     DAL
Shots                            18       8
Shots on Goal               9         1
Saves                            0         7
Fouls                            15       11
Offside                         1         0
Corner Kicks                7          5

Misconduct Summary:
KC – Aurelien Collin (Caution; Reckless Foul) 32\
KC – Chance Myers (Caution; Reckless Foul) 36
DAL – Daniel Hernandez (Caution; Tactical Foul) 49+
KC – Roger Espinoza (Caution; Delaying a Restart) 93+

Scoring Summary:
DAL – Ricardo Villar 2 (unassisted) 25
KC – Aurelien Collin 1 (Graham Zusi 3) 49+
KC – Kei Kamara 2 (Chance Myers 1, Graham Zusi 4) 88

Sporting Kansas City kept their perfect start to the 2012 season intact and handed FC Dallas their first loss with a 2-1 win on Sunday at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, courtesy of Kei Kamara’s game-winning goal in the 88th minute. With the win, Sporting Kansas City moves to 3-0-0 this year and into sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference.  

FC Dallas struck first in the 25th minute on a free kick from Ricardo Villar, the visitors only shot on goal of the game, before Aurelien Collin equalized in first half stoppage time with the 700th goal in team history coming on a header from Graham Zusi’s set piece.

It was one of two assists on the night for the Sporting KC midfielder and gives him a League-high four on the season, including one in each of the club’s first three matches.

FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman made seven saves on the night, including a diving stop on Kamara’s penalty kick in the 50th minute, but Sporting KC broke through in the game’s closing minutes on a play started and finished by Kamara. Winning the ball back at midfield and receiving a pass from Julio Cesar in quick succession, Kamara sent a pass to Chance Myers on the right touchline that began a sequence of four consecutive one-touch passes and culminated with Kamara’s a first-time finish at the near post.

Myers combined with Zusi on a give-and-go and outran FC Dallas defender Hernan Pertuz to deliver a perfectly-placed cross for Kamara to hammer home from eight yards out and secure the full three points.

Sporting Kansas City’s high pressure created opportunities early and often, as C.J. Sapong was the recipient of a deflected pass in the FC Dallas end. His shot from the top of the penalty area forced Kevin Hartman to go low and to his right to make the first of several stops in the match.

FC Dallas came close in the ninth minute when Bryan Leyva settled a cross from Blas Perez and turned quickly in the area, sending his shot wide of net. Moments later on the opposite end, Kamara collected an errant clearance from Ugo Ihemelu and put his shot on frame only to see it smothered by Hartman.

The FC Dallas goalkeeper stayed busy with a pair of stops midway through the first half, first pushing away Zusi’s left-footed attempt in the 20th minute and then collecting Bobby Convey’s strike six minutes later.

But it was FC Dallas who struck for the game’s opening goal after being awarded a free kick when Perez went down just outside the area. Villar made no mistake on the set piece, arching his shot over the wall and inside the near post for his second goal of the season.

With four minutes of stoppage time following an extended delay during Villar’s first half injury, FC Dallas midfielder Daniel Hernandez was cautioned for a foul on Espinoza in the half’s final minute. Zusi delivered the free kick into the penalty box and Collin rose high to flick it past Hartman to put the teams level entering the half. The goal, Collin’s fourth in two MLS seasons, matched the latest first half strike in club history.

Sporting Kansas City used the momentum to their advantage, drawing a penalty kick in the 50th minute when Myers was tripped up by Ihemelu inside the penalty area. Kamara, who converted both of his penalty kicks in 2011, stepped to the spot and struck his shot low but Hartman dove to his right to push away the attempt.

It marked the club’s first unsuccessful penalty kick in their last 14 attempts dating back to 2007 and was the 14th career penalty save for the former KC goalkeeper. Kamara nearly found redemption on the ensuing corner kick, winning the header but pushing it just wide of the far post.

The back-and-forth action continued with FC Dallas nearly taking the lead in the 57th minute as Jair Benitez found space on the left flank and surged forward. He slipped a pass across the goalmouth for an onrushing Andrew Jacobson, who couldn’t connect from close range.

FC Dallas, who were the last team to defeat Sporting Kansas City at home in a regular season MLS match, threatened again in the 86th minute as Pertuz sent a shot narrowly over the crossbar.

Two minutes later, Kamara recorded his second goal in as many games and 22nd of his KC career to give Sporting Kansas City its second 3-0-0 start in team history. Sporting becomes the only team in MLS with three wins through their first three games, earning the victory in their first of six straight matches against Western Conference opponents.

Sporting Kansas City will now return to the road for their next MLS match, traveling to take on Chivas USA on Sunday, April 1 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The match will be broadcast live on KSMO-TV at 8 p.m. CT.

LIVESTRONG Sporting Park will host the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament semifinals on Saturday, March 31 and championship on Monday, April 1. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com or at the LSP box offices.

Fast Facts:

  •  Sporting Kansas City is 3-0-0 this season and in sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference.
  • Sporting KC is 2-0-0 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in 2012.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 197-199-100 all-time and 133-72-43 at home in the team’s 17-year history.
  • Sunday’s match marked the first time Sporting Kansas City has played three games in the month of March. Sporting Kansas City is 8-6-1 all-time in the month of March.
  • Sporting Kansas City has scored 29 goals in the month of March all-time, most among all MLS teams.
  • With the win, Sporting Kansas City is 3-0-0 in 2012 and in first place of the Eastern Conference at the conclusion of week three. This is the second time Sporting Kansas City has started a season with three consecutive wins, the last time was in 2006.
  • Sporting KC is now 20-19-8 all-time against FC Dallas and 11-8-5 at home in the series.
  • FC Dallas lost for the first time in the 2012 season.
  • Ricardo Villar’s goal in the 25th minute ended Sporting Kansas City’s shutout streak at 204 minutes without conceding a goal, second longest in MLS this season.
  • Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen allowed his first goal of the 2012 season lowered his all-time goals against average to 1.12, the best career mark among all goalkeepers in KC history.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 1-0-0 against Western Conference opponents and Sunday was the first of six straight matches against Western Conference teams for Sporting Kansas City.
  • Sporting KC started the same lineup in Sunday’s match as they did in last Saturday’s 3-0 victory against New England.
  • Sporting Kansas City has outshot their opponent by ten or more shots in each of the first three games in 2012. KC leads the league in shots with 62 and shots on goal with 24.
  • Kei Kamara had 11 shots in tonight’s match, falling just short of the all-time MLS record of 12, shared by Preki and Mamadou Diallo.
  • Kamara’s 11 shots breaks Preki’s record for most shots by a Kansas City player all-time against FC Dallas. His five shots on goal tie Preki for most shots on goal by a KansasCity player all-time against FC Dallas.
  • Kamara surpasses Chris Brown, Scott Sealy, and Matt McKeon for 9th place (75 shots on goal) on the club's all-time chart.
  • Kamara surpassed Jack Jewsbury for 6th on the clubs all-time shot list.
  • Kamara leads all MLS players in shots in 2012 with 24.
  • Aurelien Collin’s goal in the 49+ minute was the fourth of his career and ties the record for latest first half goal in Sporting Kansas City history. The only other time a goal was scored that late in the first half by a Kansas City player was on September 26, 2001 when Francisco Gomez finished off an assist from current Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes.
  • Collin’s goal marks the 700th goal in club history.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 3-0-1 all-time when Collin scores.
  • Graham Zusi earned assists on both goals in tonight’s match and now leads MLS with four assists in 2012, tallying at least one assist in each of the team’s first three games.
  • This is the second straight season that Graham Zusi has accumulated assists in three consecutive games. In 2011, his streak lasted from June 12 to June 25 and tied for third longest in the League.
  • Zusi now has 12 assists in his MLS career.
  • Zusi now has six points (one goal and four assists) and is tied for second in the League for points behind David Estrada.
  • Tonight marks the first time Sporting Kansas City has failed to convert a penalty kick since July 29, 2007 when Carlos Marinelli missed against Chivas USA. Kansas City also won that match, scoring the game winner in the 89th minute.
  • Sporting Kansas City has scored 49 of their 67 penalty kick attempts all-time with a 73% success rate.
  • Sporting Kansas City converted 13 consecutive penalty kicks prior to tonight’s match.
  • The penalty kick save marks Kevin Hartman’s 14th of his career.
  • Kei Kamara scored his second goal of 2012 and 22nd goal during the regular season for Sporting Kansas City.
  • Kamara has notched a goal in each of Sporting Kansas city’s last two matches against FC Dallas.
  • Kamara’s game-winning goal moves him into a tie for 7th on the club’s all-time chart joining Chris Brown, Jose Burciaga Jr., Eddie Johnson, Mo Johnston and Miklos Molnar with six.
  • Kamara becomes one of 164 field players to surpass 10,000 minutes in his MLS career. He is one of 53 active field players to accomplish this feat.
  • Chance Myers tallied his first assist of 2012 and third of his career on Kamara’s finish.
  • Graham Zusi also tallied an assist on the goal, marking the sixth game-winning assist of his career and second of the 2012 season. Zusi leads the League in game-winning assists in2012.
  • Zusi and Myers are both credited for the 200th game winning assist in club history.
  • Sporting Kansas City becomes the sixth MLS club to accumulate 200 or more assists.
  • Zusi moves into a tie for 10th place on the club’s all-time game-winning assist chart, joining Mark Chung, Matt McKeon, and Sasha Victorine with six.
  • Sporting Kansas City maintained 59.4% of the possession in tonight’s match.
  • Time Warner Cable was the official match sponsor for tonight’s game.