Not for the first time this season, Sporting Kansas City emerged from a draw feeling far more frustrated than content.
Sunday's 1-1 stalemate against Atlanta United FC was minutes away from being a 1-0 victory, only for Jacob Peterson to poke home a loose ball in second-half stoppage time and deny his former club all three points.
"It’s not bittersweet, it’s freaking bitter," Manager Peter Vermes stated bluntly in his post-game press conference. "We lost two points tonight. We had the game in hand."
Indeed, Sporting Kansas City was in the midst of another dominating defensive performance as Atlanta mustered just seven totals shots and two on goal. Both of which were their second-lowest totals of the season. Peterson's late equalizer, however, rescued the visitors an unlikely point.
Yet in a league characterized by such parity, Vermes' men ended up extending their lead atop the Western Conference to three points by the end of Week 22. And in the process, one of the club's primary playmakers accomplished a rare feat only one other player has managed this decade.
Benny Feilhaber calmly slotted home a 59th-minute penalty kick on Sunday, marking the third straight regular season match in which he has scored a goal. Only 11 other players in Sporting Kansas City history have scored in three consecutive regular season matches over a single year.
Until Sunday, Feilhaber had never scored in three straight MLS matches. In doing so, he became just the second player since 2010 to find the back of the net across three straight fixtures in the same regular season.
SPORTING KC: GOALS IN THREE STRAIGHT GAMES
(MLS REGULAR SEASON, ALL-TIME)
|Preki||1996, 1997, 2003|
|Josh Wolff||2004, 2009|
|Jose Burciaga Jr.||2006|
|Dom Dwyer||2014, 2016|
Sporting Kansas City will now focus its attention to Wednesday's Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinal at Children's Mercy Park, where they will host the San Jose Earthquakes at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets for the match are available at SeatGeek.com as Sporting KC continues its pursuit of a fourth Open Cup title.