Sporting Kansas City vs Manchester United 07-25-2010 - Recap
10-man Kansas City hold on to defeat Manchester United
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A good number of the 52,424 fans came to see Manchester United, but they left with a healthy appreciation for the Kansas City Wizards and Major League Soccer.
Despite going down to 10 men late in the first half, Kansas City took advantage of two first-half goals to hold on for a 2-1 victory against United at the newly remodeled Arrowhead Stadium.
Davy Arnaud and Kei Kamara scored for the Wizards, and Dimitar Berbatov converted from the penalty spot for the Red Devils in an open and flowing game that was played at a breakneck pace and punctuated by near misses.
Kansas City snatched an early advantage in the 11th minute through Arnaud. With the Wizards captain streaking in diagonally behind the United back line, Kei Kamara slipped a pass into space, Rafael kept Arnaud onside and the midfielder tucked a tidy finish inside the back post.
The unlikely advantage injected the home side with a jolt of confidence and the Wizards spent much of the remaining half in United’s end. With Craig Rocastle applying the pressure, Arnaud, Kamara, Ryan Smith and Teal Bunbury put pressure on the Red Devils back four, narrowing missing out on a second goal on a number of occasions.
But that period of dominance was spoiled in the 39th minute when Ryan Giggs slipped a ball in between Jimmy Conrad and Shavar Thomas to Berbatov. The Bulgarian took a touch before Conrad slid in and appeared to nick the ball before bringing Berbatov to the ground. But referee Terry Vaughn didn’t hesitate, showing the veteran defender a red card and pointing to the spot.
United evened the score when Berbatov sent Jimmy Nielsen the wrong way, prompting a chorus of boos from the crowd.
But those boos turned to cheers only a minute later when Kamara got on the end of Smith’s corner kick and nodded the ball off the crossbar and in, although replays shows the ball may not have completely crossed the line.
Even down to 10 men, Kansas City did not back off from its swashbuckling attitude from the first half during the second period while United looked to exploit its man advantage.
But neither side could take advantage of the other’s mistakes as substitute goalkeeper Eric Kronberg put in an inspired performance for the Wizards and Red Devil’s Ben Amos turned away any and all comers.
In the end, Kansas City did just enough, sending the record crowd home with a satisfying end to a historic day in the Midwest.
KC – Davy Arnaud (Kei Kamara) 11
MU – Dimitar Berbatov (unassisted, penalty kick) 41
KC -- Kamara (Ryan Smith) 42
MU – Ryan Giggs (caution; Unsporting behavior) 33
KC – Jimmy Conrad (ejection; Denied goal scoring opportunity) 39
KC – Kei Kamara (caution; Shirt removal) 43
MU – Darron Gibson (caution; Reckless tackle) 63
Manchester United – Rafael, Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans, Ritchie De Laet (Fabio 76), Nani (Gabriel Obertan 68), Paul Scholes, Darron Gibson (Tom Cleverley 68), Ryan Giggs, Dimitar Berbatov (Danny Welbeck 78), Mame Biram Diouf (Federico Macheda 68), Ben Amos.
Substitutes Not Used: Edwin van der Sar, Wes Brown, Corry Evans.
Kansas City Wizards – Roger Espinoza, Michael Harrington, Shavar Thomas, Jimmy Conrad, Ryan Smith (Korede Aiyegbusi 58), Craig Rocastle (Matt Besler 44), Stephane Auvray (Graham Zusi 78), Davy Arnaud (Jack Jewsbury 69), Kei Kamara (Chance Myers 83), Teal Bunbury (Sunil Chettri 69), Jimmy Nielsen (Eric Kronberg 46).
Substitutes Not Used: Aaron Hohlbein, Birahim Diop, Jonathan Leathers, Josh Wolff.
Referee: Terry Vaughn
Referee's Assistants: Greg Barkey, Corey Rockwell
4th Official: Hilario Grajeda
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 84 degrees