BY MIKE DONOVAN
Seconds before the final whistle sounded, Djimi Traore capitalized on a major blunder and delivered Seattle a stunning road victory.
Traore’s goal, which came in the fifth minute of stoppage time, gave the the visiting Seattle Sounders a 1-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City.
After a long throw-in, Sporting was unable to clear the ball when Aurelien Collin whiffed trying to kick the ball out of the area. Traore then calmly kneed the ball to himself and shot it past a helpless Jimmy Nielsen.
Traore’s goal lifted Seattle (2-3-3, 9 points) to its second win of the season and continues a four-game unbeaten run. The recent stretch of play is a far-cry from the start of the season that saw the Sounders drop three of its first four matches.
Before the goal, the biggest moment of the match happened midway through the first half when KC’s Ike Opara appeared to handle the ball in the penalty area. However, no call was made to the shock of the Sounders. In the aftermath, backup goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann was ejected from the match after using abusive language.
The ejection left the Sounders without a backup goalkeeper for the majority of the match. But in-the-end, there was no need for Seattle to worry as Michael Gspurning delivered a shutout performance.
For Sporting Kansas City (5-4-2, 17 points), the stunning loss is the club’s third defeat in their last four matches. Despite scoring four goals just four days ago against Chivas USA, the home side was unable to threaten the Seattle goal. The club was able to get just three shots on target for the entire match, despite an edge in possession (58 to 42 percent).
The loss overshadowed the return of Kei Kamara to Sporting Kansas City. Kamara had spent the last four months on loan with Norwich City FC of the English Premier League. The Sierra Leone International was given a hearty applause by the SKC fans when he made his debut in the 73rd minute. However, that was the brightest spot in the match for Kamara, who didn’t have a shot in his 17 minutes of action.
Both teams make quick returns to action with Seattle heading home to take on the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday night at Century Link Field. Sporting Kansas City will live the friendly home confines to take on the streaking Houston Dynamo on Sunday afternoon at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Here are the match highlights: