Recap: Sporting KC sweeps season series with Crew after securing 1-0 road victory in Columbus

Crew Stadium | Columbus, Ohio
Attendance: 19,107
Weather: 73 degrees, cloudy
Score 1 2 F
Sporting Kansas City (15-10-6, 51 pts) 1 0 1
Columbus Crew (12-15-5, 41 pts) 0 0 0
Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen (c); Seth Sinovic, Ike Opara, Matt Besler, Chance Myers; Lawrence Olum, Peterson Joseph, Graham Zusi; C.J. Sapong, Dom Dwyer (Teal Bunbury 84), Soony Saad (Jacob Peterson 70).
Subs not used: Eric Kronberg, Aurelien Collin, Christian Duke, Benny Feilhaber Josh Gardner.
Columbus Crew: Matt Lampson; Chad Barson (Ben Speas 82), Chad Marshall, Tyson Wahl, Agustin Viana (Josh Williams 71); Dominic Oduro, Wil Trapp, Tony Tchani, Bernardo Anor, Federico Higuain (c), Jairo Arrieta (Ryan Finley 76).
Subs not used: Andy Gruenebaum, Kevan George, Ethan Finlay, Justin Meram 
Stats KC CLB
Shots 13 12
Shots on Goal 5 1
Saves 1 4
Fouls 19 6
Offside 1 8
Corner Kicks 6 9

Misconduct Summary:
KC -- C.J. Sapong (caution; reckless foul) 67
KC -- Peterson Joseph (caution; tactical foul) 85

Scoring Summary:
KC -- Ike Opara 3 (Graham Zusi 8) 17

Sporting KC moved one step closer to their third consecutive playoff berth with a 1-0 win over the Columbus Crew on Saturday night at Crew Stadium. Sporting KC now sits two points back of the New York Red Bulls in the race for the Supporters' Shield.
Ike Opara's 17th-minute goal was enough as Sporting KC improved their League-best road record to 7-5-3. Sporting KC also remains one of two teams in MLS to have a positive road goal differential (+2).

The Sporting KC central defender began the play when he headed a Graham Zusi corner kick across the penalty box. C.J. Sapong kept the play alive by tapping the ball back out to Zusi. The All-Star winger curled a ball to the back post where Opara directed his header past Matt Lampson.
Despite controlling 65% of the possession, the Crew forced goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen to make only one save. The Danish goalkeeper calmly collected Federico Higuain's 30-yard free kick in the 77th minute to preserve his 11th shutout of 2013. Nielsen is now one back of the Philadelphia Union's Zac MacMath for most shutouts in the League.

The Crew had a good opportunity to level the match in the 81st minute on a set piece. Higuain curled a corner kick into the box and Ryan Finley beat his mark to the ball. Finley directed his header on target but Seth Sinovic alertly headed the ball over the net.
Lampson made four saves for the Crew including a reaction save on Sinovic in the 12th minute. The Crew goalkeeper also came up big to stop Dom Dwyer on a breakaway in the 83rd minute.

Opara nearly added a second for the visitors when he headed a Zusi corner kick past Lampson in the 69th minute. The goal was disallowed, however, as the assistant whistled Opara for a foul.

Sporting KC has a quick turnaround as they prepare for a mid-week match against Houston. The Dynamo currently sit four points behind Sporting KC in the Eastern Conference. Wednesday's match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. CT on KSMO-TV from BBVA Compass Stadium.