CD Olimpia 0, Sporting KC 2 | CONCACAF Champions League Match Recap
Whatever their recent scoring struggles in MLS, Sporting Kansas City haven't had any trouble finding the net on the road in CONCACAF Champions League play.
Soony Saad scored a pair of goals as Sporting beat CD Olimpia 2-0 on Tuesday night in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, giving them six points through two matches and putting them firmly in control of their group.
The win also saw the return of midfielder Paulo Nagamura from a sprained ankle that had sidelined him since a 2-2 league draw at FC Dallas on June 22. Nagamura started and went 77 minutes before being subbed off for C.J. Sapong.
Sporting, who have been shut out in their last two league matches and three of their last five, outscored their first two CCL opponents by a combined 4-0 margin.
Saad's first goal came in the 27th minute after a perfect ball over the top from Graham Zusi. Saad drove into the penalty area past center back José Fonseca, measured his shot and slotted the ball past Noel Valladares into the center of the goal.
The hosts, largely ineffective in the attack through the first hour, turned up the pressure not long after that and twice were nearly rewarded for it.
Carlos Mejia got free on the right side of the area in the 61st minute but pushed his shot wide left. A minute after that, Sporting 'keeper Eric Kronberg spilled Brayan Beckeles' cross from the right flank but center back Ike Opara cleared it away.
The failure to equalize proved costly for the 2010-11 CCL quarterfinalists.
After Kronberg punched away a free kick, the ball fell to center forward Dom Dwyer with room to run. Dwyer, a 48th-minute sub for Claudio Bieler, took off on a 70-yard run down the pitch but appeared to trap himself in a crowd on the left side of Olimpia's penalty area.
Instead, he cut inside past Fonseca and was pulled down by Mejia in the 67th minute, drawing the spot kick. Valladares got a finger to Saad's 68th-minute blast but couldn't keep it out of the net, giving Saad five goals across all competitions this season and making him the fourth Kansas City player with a multi-goal game in international play.
Kronberg had an uneventful night otherwise, needing to make only one save in second-half stoppage time for his second CCL shutout.
Sporting return to league action at home against Colorado on Sunday and to CCL play – also at home – on Sept. 17 against Nicaraguan side Real Estelí, whom they beat 2-0 away on Aug. 7.
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.