Sporting Kansas City's winless streak in San Jose continued on Friday with a 1-0 loss in the team's first match at Avaya Stadium. Anibal Godoy's 47th minute goal extended the Earthquakes home unbeaten streak in the series to 17 straight games in MLS competition (including playoffs) dating back to 2001.
Sporting Kansas City and San Jose each exchanged scoring opportunities in the game's opening 10 minutes on Friday. Erik Palmer-Brown, making his third straight MLS appearance at 18 years of age, snapped his header narrowly over the crossbar in the fourth minute on a cross from centerback partner Matt Besler.
Tim Melia was then called into action on the opposite end, making a pair of saves in short succession in the eighth minute. His first was a routine play on a header from Shea Salinas and the second stop came on a curling shot from Matias Perez Garcia.
San Jose, playing the team's seventh home game in an eight-game stretch, continued to press forward in the 20th minute as Quincy Amarikwa sent his shot high of target from the top of the penalty area. Four minutes later, Clarence Goodson ventured forward for a set piece opportunity, taken by Perez Garcia, and directed his header goalward but straight into the arms of Melia.
Sporting Kansas City's best scoring chance of the first half came early when Dom Dwyer broke free in the eighth minute. The Englishman, who leads the team with 11 goals, forced a fantastic foot save from David Bingham. The Earthquakes goalkeeper was again in position to thwart a dipping half-volley from Benny Feilhaber in the 34th minute for his second save of the match.
Melia, whose last six starts have all come on the road, recorded four saves in the opening 45 minutes and needed a dive to his right in the 35th minute to deny Salinas. However, the clean sheet would last less than two minutes when the second half resumed.
Chris Wondolowski, named the club's MVP prior to the match, set up the break-through goal and earned his first assist of the year. The World Cup veteran sent a volley across the goalmouth for a tap-in from Anibal Godoy, whose two MLS goals this year have both come against Sporting KC.
Sporting Kansas City, needing a draw or win to clinch a postseason berth, immediately began the search for an equalizer as Dwyer's shot from a tight angle was turned away by Bingham in the 51st minute. However, it was the Earthquakes that threatened to capitalize as the game opened up and would have doubled their lead if not for Melia's repeated interventions.
The first-year starter stoned Amarikwa in a one-on-one situation in the 55th minute then spoiled what would have been a world-class goal by Wondolowski three minutes later. Melia then matched his single-game career high with a seventh save in the 72nd minute, dropping low to block Fatai Alashe's first-time strike.
Already missing centerback Kevin Ellis and defensive midfielder Soni Mustivar due to injury, Besler was removed from the match with 30 minutes remaining after suffering an ankle sprain. Nevertheless, the visitors showed signs of salvaging a point when Feilhaber lofted a chip into the path of Mikey Lopez - looking for his first career MLS goal - but his header carried inches over the crossbar.
Sporting Kansas City's drive to the playoffs, presented by Shawnee Mission Kia, will continue on Wednesday in a match that was originally scheduled for May 16 but postponed due to inclement weather. All previously purchased tickets will be valid and Sporting Kansas City Season Ticket Members should contact 888-4KC-GOAL with any questions.
2015 MLS Regular Season
Game 32 of 34
Avaya Stadium | San Jose, California
Weather: 68 degrees and partly cloudy
BurgerFi Man of the Match
#SJvSKC Video Highlights
|Sporting KC (13-10-9, 48 pts)||0||0||0|
|San Jose Earthquakes (13-12-8, 47 pts)||0||1||1|
Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Seth Sinovic (Saad Abdul-Salaam 64), Matt Besler (Amobi Okugo 60), Erik Palmer-Brown, Chance Myers; Paulo Nagamura, Benny Feilhaber, Mikey Lopez; Bernardo Anor (Krisztian Nemeth 59), Dom Dwyer, Graham Zusi
Subs Not Used: Jon Kempin, Amadou Dia, Jordi Quintilla, Jacob Peterson
San Jose Earthquakes: David Bingham; Shaun Francis, Clarence Goodson, Fatai Alashe, Marvell Wynne; Shea Salinas, Anibal Godoy, Matias Perez Garcia (Sanna Nyassi 76), Cordell Cato; Quincy Amarikwa (Adam Jahn 91+), Chris Wondolowski
Subs Not Used: Bryan Meredith, Leandro Barrera, J.J. Koval, Tommy Thompson, Mark Sherrod
|Shots on Goal||3||8|
SJ -- Anibal Godoy (caution; reckless tackle) 67
SKC -- Amobi Okugo (caution; tactical foul) 69
SKC -- Dom Dwyer (caution; reckless takle) 82
SJ -- Anibal Godoy 2 (Chris Wondolowski 1, Shea Salinas 5) 47