If this is what life without Dom Dwyer is like, maybe Sporting Kansas City will be alright after all.
Sporting Kansas City won their first game after trading the star forward to Orlando City, 3-2, over the Chicago Fire on Saturday night. Daniel Salloi, Benny Feilhaber and Latif Blessing scored a goal each against a Fire team that didn’t quit, but couldn’t give enough to complete a full comeback.
Salloi did everything himself on the opening tally, as he burst down the left wing, cut inside to the top-left part of the box and rifled a shot into the roof of the net in the 23rd minute.
The lead was short lived, as Matt Besler decided to get in on the scoring fun, but for the wrong team, in the 28th minute. Besler attempted to clear a Matt Polster cross out of the box, but instead he hit it on a strong angle and it flew past Tim Melia into his own net.
Right before halftime, two of Sporting KC’s most experienced players featured in key roles for the club’s second goal. Graham Zusi sprinted down the right edge of the box and played a cross near the net that was headed on net by Blessing. After Matt Lampson denied Blessing, Feilhaber delivered an acrobatic finish from close range.
Blessing got on the score sheet in the 51st minute thanks to a bit of luck as he deflected Diego Rubio’s shot from the left side of the box into the right part of the net.
Although they held a two-goal lead, Sporting KC weren’t in the clear, as David Accam made things interesting with a quality finish in the 78th minute.
The Fire came close to scoring a third goal, but Tim Melia made one of the best individual goalkeeping plays of the season. Melia originally raced off his line, but couldn’t get to the ball. As he raced back into the net, he batted away a shot from Nemanja Nikolic to preserve the win.
Sporting KC return to action on Sunday against Atlanta United at home, while Chicago hosts the New England Revolution at Toyota Park on Saturday.
Man of the Match
Latif Blessing was one of a few attackers who stepped up to fill Dom Dwyer’s void on Saturday night. He played a role in two of the three Sporting KC goals.
Moment of the Match
All five of the goals were notable in their own regard, but Melia’s incredible denial in the 84th minute kept Sporting KC in the lead, and it moved them to the top of the Western Conference.
Match to Forget
With news of David Accam wanting out, the starting attacking trio for the Fire didn’t impress at all. Luis Solignac, Michael de Leeuw and Nemanja Nikolic combined for one shot on target.