Sporting Kansas City is still struggling. This is not the team we saw early in the season. There are several players injured but the team was supposed to be deeper than this.
Sporting showed its struggles early in this game. Seemingly every play was followed with whining and complaining from Sporting. Kelyn Rowe took a dive and then complained about being tripped. It was the kind of soccer preventing the sport from gaining more of a following in the United States.
Sporting had trouble connecting on passes. Miscommunication led to easily played balls going out of bounds to New England. Easy scoring opportunities were missed.
New England jumped on top 1-0. Sporting responded with a nice ball headed in by Krisztian Nemeth on a pass from Graham Zusi. Sporting quickly gave up that tied score by allowing a goal just two minutes later and then another about seven minutes later. Sporting found itself down 3-1 at the half at home.
The second half started similar to the first half with a Sporting turnover deep in their own territory by Graham Zusi. New England wasn’t able to capitalize.
Gerso Fernandes was tripped en route to a breakaway in the 56th minute and New England was given a red card. The red card gave Sporting a man advantage for the last 34 minutes.
Gerso was later taken down in the 18 yard area. Felipe Gutierrez made the penalty shot and Sporting was down just 3-2.
Johnny Russell was called for a hand ball in the 18 yard area. Sporting keeper Tim Melia stopped the shot but New England scored on the rebound.
This game was just crazy. Just a few minutes after New England’s penalty shot rebound goal, Felipe Gutierrez tapped in a shot from the middle of the box just a few yards from the goal to make it just 4-3 in favor of New England.
With seven minutes left in regular time Sporting tied the game. Johnny Russell kicked a nice corner that was headed in by Nemeth.
What an entertaining, and at times very frustrating, game.
In the 90th minute Johnny Russell was taken down about to have a breakaway and another New England player was sent out of the game, this time because of a second yellow card. This gave Sporting a two man advantage for seven minutes of extra time tied at 4-4.
Sporting couldn’t get the win but a tie has to be considered a success after how this game was going in the first half.