Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By TATE STEINLAGE
It was Sporting Kansas City’s turn to benefit from a second half stoppage-time goal Saturday after two heartbreaking finishes earlier in the season, as Dom Dwyer’s 92nd minute blast helped boost the reigning MLS Cup champions over the Colorado Rapids 3-2 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
“I think what we did was we kept pushing and we kept trying,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said after the match. “I don’t think that we were firing on all cylinders today, but what I do think is that we stayed and at least tried to keep playing. We kept trying to push it to stay in there. At the end we scored a great third goal, and I thought the guys managed the game thereafter.”
Sporting KC found itself in desperation mode after the Rapids stormed ahead 2-1 in the 78th minute on its fifth penalty kick of the year, and second of the match. However, just a minute later midfielder Benny Feilhaber, who committed the foul on Shane O’Neill that led to the second penalty, helped the visitors equalize with a rebounded attempt just in front of the box.
“It was a great response by the whole team, because when they kicked off we went right at them,” Vermes said. “We got wide, the ball got played across, and Benny (Feilhaber) got in to the box. He takes two whacks at it and the second one goes in, so it was strong determination.”
Dwyer’s game-winning goal would be aided partially by a red card in the 85th minute on Colorado defender Marvell Wynne, leaving the Rapids with only 10 men for the rest of the match.
The afternoon’s scoring got opened up in the 50th minute after a dismal first half for both teams when Graham Zusi found an opening in the middle of the box, just wide enough for fellow forward Sal Zizzo to sneak a pass through the box, to Zusi, and into the back of the net.
The Rapids were led in scoring by forward Vicente Sanchez, who scored both penalty kicks for Colorado. The first was awarded after a questionable handball call on Sporting KC defender Ike Opara in the 60th minute, who appeared to unintentionally fall on top of the ball after being hit in the shin. Opara would have to be subbed off minutes later with an injury that Sporting KC believe is not long term.
The result pushes Sporting KC’s record to 2-1-1, while dropping the Colorado Rapids’ to 1-1-1. Both sides return to action next Saturday, Sporting KC at home against Real Salt Lake, and Colorado on the road against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Here are the match highlights: