Recap: Benny Feilhaber scores twice to lift Sporting KC to 3-1 win over Dallas

Sporting Kansas City took a major step toward the top of the Western Conference with a 3-1 victory over second place FC Dallas on Friday at Sporting Park. Benny Feilhaber scored twice and Dom Dwyer added the team's third goal of the night to give both players 10 regular season goals in 2015, marking the first time since 1998 for the club to have two double digit goal scorers in a season.

Feilhaber also becomes only the third player in club history, and first since 2005, to record at least 10 goals and 10 assists in a single season. The MLS MVP candidate has scored or assisted on 24 of the team's 44 goals this season; only Preki had previously tallied a higher total in a single season.

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A scoreless first half on Friday featured just two combined shots on goal, with one in the first minute and one in the final minute. Homegrown goalkeeper Jon Kempin, making his second straight start for Sporting KC, did well to turn away Michael Barrios shot at the near post in the opening minute. On the opposite end, 20-year-old Jesse Gonzalez - a fellow Homegrown signing - made a superb play in stoppage time to keep out Chance Myers' header off a corner kick from Graham Zusi.

The second half came to life in front of a sold out crowd as Sporting KC sent eight shots on target, the most by the team in a second half since July 2008. Zusi sparked the attack, forcing a pair of back-to-back saves from Gonzalez in the 53rd minute - first with a glancing header and then with a follow-up effort on the rebound.

Feilhaber then found the break-through goal in the 65th minute, winning a set piece 20 yards out and curling the ensuing free kick around the wall with a shot that kissed off the post before nestling into the back of the net. The goal was Sporting Kansas City's first scored directly from a free kick in the regular season since July 19, 2014 when Feilhaber was also on the scoring end against the LA Galaxy.

After winning MLS Goal of the Week for his strike in Orlando last Sunday, Hungarian international Krisztian Nemeth nearly scored in his second straight match with a chance in the 71st minute. Zusi beat two FC Dallas players on the dribble - eluding Michel on the sideline then skipping past Je-Vaughn Watson - before laying the ball back for Nemeth, whose first-time shot was kicked away by Gonzalez.

Less than a minute later, FC Dallas broke free on a counter attack that ended with Victor Ulloa taking a shot from the top of the penalty area. Kempin dove low to his right to make the save and immediately recovered to pounce on the loose ball under pressure from Tesho Akindele.

Sporting Kansas City's lead would then double in the 76th minute as Dwyer won a penalty kick for the home side. From just inside midfield, homegrown defender Kevin Ellis chipped an entry ball behind the FC Dallas backline that Dwyer raced onto the end of before being brought down by Gonzalez. Feilhaber calmly stepped to the spot, having converted his previous four attempts this season, and buried the shot for his second two-goal game of the season.

Ulloa would pull a goal back for the visitors, who had won three straight games prior to Friday, in the 80th minute with the 23-year-old Homegrown midfielder's first career goal. He found space centrally following a give-and-go with Fabian Castillo and unleashed a powerfully taken shot that carried across the line after glancing off Kempin's glove.

Dwyer, who scored four goals against FC Dallas in the U.S. Open Cup earlier this year, ended any ideas of a comeback for the Western Conference foes with his emphatic goal in the 83rd minute. Paulo Nagamura fed Dwyer at the edge of the 18-yard-box - earning his first assist of the season - and the Englishman did the rest, taking a touch around Walker Zimmerman and rifling a shot into the top corner.

With the win, Sporting KC improves to 13-1-4 at home in all competitions this year and moves into fourth place in the Western Conference with six games remaining in the regular season. The team will continue the postseason push in Houston at 7:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday live on KMCI-TV 38 the Spot in Kansas City and SKCTV affiliates across the Midwest.

Major League Soccer
Regular Season: Game 28 
 Sporting Park | Kansas City, Kan.
Attendance: 18,861 (67th straight sell out)
Weather: 79 degrees and partly cloudy
 
SportingKC.com Links
2nd Half: Benny Feilhaber Goal (65')
2nd Half: Benny Feilhaber Goal (76')
2nd Half: Dom Dwyer Goal (83')
Full Time: Video Highlights
Full Time: Photo Gallery
Postgame: Benny Feilhaber
Postgame: Dom Dwyer
Postgame: Matt Besler
Postgame: Peter Vermes
Postgame: Quote Sheet
 

Score

1

2

F

Sporting KC (12-8-8, 44 pts)

0

3

3

FC Dallas (14-9-5, 47 pts)

0

1

1

Sporting Kansas City: Jon Kempin; Seth Sinovic, Matt Besler (c), Kevin Ellis, Chance Myers (Saad Abdul-Salaam 70); Soni Mustivar, Benny Feilhaber, Paulo Nagamura (Jalil Anibaba 92+); Krisztian Nemeth (Bernardo Anor 82), Dom Dwyer, Graham Zusi

Subs Not Used: Trey Mitchell, Jordi Quintilla, Jacob Peterson, Marcel de Jong

FC Dallas: Jesse Gonzalez; Je-Vaughn Watson, Matt Hedges, Zach Loyd (Blas Perez 71), Walker Zimmerman; Atiba Harris, Michel, Victor Ulloa, Ezequiel Cirigliano (Tesho Akindele 64); Michael Barrios, David Texeira (Fabian Castillo 46)

Subs Not Used: Chris Seitz, Moises Hernandez, Ryan Hollingshead, Rolando Escobar

Stats

SKC

DAL

Shots

18

8

Shots on Goal

9

4

Saves

3

6

Fouls

7

12

Offside

2

0

Corner Kicks

6

3

Misconduct Summary:
SKC -- Bernardo Anor (caution; unsporting behavior) 86

Scoring Summary:
SKC -- Benny Feilhaber 9 (unassisted) 65
SKC -- Benny Feilhaber 10 (penalty kick) 76
DAL -- Victor Ulloa 1 (Fabian Castillo 7) 80
SKC -- Dom Dwyer 10 (Paulo Nagamura 1) 83

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