Sporting Kansas City vs New England Revolution 07-31-2011 - Recap
Recap: Bunbury heroics run SKC unbeaten streak to 13
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — For the better part of 90 minutes, it looked like the New England Revolution were going to sneak out of LIVESTRONG Sporting Park with a hard-fought victory.
But Sporting Kansas City simply weren’t ready to lose their first league game in the first-year stadium. With a man advantage late in the match, the home side surged forward and were rewarded with an 89th-minute equalizer from the boot of Teal Bunbury to extend their MLS unbeaten streak to 13 games and send the 17,418 fans in attendance home happy.
Kansas City are now 3-0-4 at home and 6-6-9 overall while New England moved to 4-9-9 through 22 matches after Rajko Lekic’s first-half goal was canceled out by Bunbury’s late heroics. The Revolution took the season series, however, with a 3-2 victory back on April 23.
The first scoring opportunity for either side went to Shalrie Joseph 10 minutes into the match when the Revolution midfielder played a neat give-and-go with Lekic and found himself alone with Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen. Though he had most of the goal to aim at, Joseph couldn’t put his effort on frame, sending a right-footed shot just outside the post.
Sporting controlled the play for the next 10 minutes but couldn’t convert their dominance into any clear chances. Kei Kamara and C.J. Sapong both had fleeting opportunities slip away before the visitors seized the initiative.
Zach Shilawski sent a curling shot over Kansas City’s goal and Benny Feilhaber showed his class on the ball, but the Revs looked a final pass away before a defensive miscue gave them the opening they needed.
In the end, it was Lekic who opened the scoring in the 38th minute as Daneil Cyrus, who was making his first league start for Kansas City, misjudged a long clearance from Matt Reis, whiffing on the header and allowing the ball to bounce into space. Lekic was first to it, took a touch to get away from Matt Besler and deftly poked his shot past Nielsen with the outside of his boot.
Neither side made a change at the half, and Sporting nearly pulled level in the early going. Kamara used some neat footwork to get behind substitute Kenny Mansally and put in a cross that Matt Reis couldn’t handle. The ball eventually fell to Seth Sinovic with the goal gaping, but the angle was tight and Sinovic blazed his effort high over the bar.
Down a goal at home, Kansas City manager Peter Vermes went to his bench for some offense, bringing Omar Bravo on for Júlio César in the 56th minute, to the delight of the crowd. The momentum immediately shifted to home side as Sporting pinned the Revs inside their own half in search of an equalizer.
Kamara nearly connected on another acrobatic bicycle kick and Jéferson barely missed on his own effort before Reis made a huge save to keep it level in the 66th minute. Sapong was played on net with only the keeper to beat, but Reis came up big to record a beautiful kick save on the low effort.
Sporting continued to push forward with nothing to show for their efforts until a red card to A.J. Soares in the 82nd minute for taking down Sapong as the last man gave them even more of an advantage.
And, as they’ve done before at Sporting Park, Sporting gave their fans a last-minute thrill when Bravo bundled the ball into the path of Teal Bunbury and the substitute buried his chance, sending the crowd into hysterics.
NE -- Rajko Lekic 4 (Matt Reis 1) 38
KC -- Teal Bunbury 4 (unassisted) 89
NE -- Kenny Mansally (caution; Tactical Foul) 50
KC -- Daneil Cyrus (caution; Reckless Foul) 67
NE -- Franco Coria (caution; Reckless Tackle) 77
NE -- A.J. Soares (ejection; Denied Goal Scoring Opportunity (Foul)) 82
New England Revolution -- Matt Reis, Kevin Alston (Ryan Guy 78), Franco Coria, A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy (Kenny Mansally 34), Pat Phelan, Shalrie Joseph, Darrius Barnes, Zack Schilawski (Sainey Nyassi 72), Rajko Lekic, Benny Feilhaber.
Substitutes Not Used: Zak Boggs, Ryan Cochrane, Diego Fagundez, Bobby Shuttleworth.
Sporting KC -- Jimmy Nielsen, Chance Myers, Daneil Cyrus (Teal Bunbury 80), Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic (Birahim Diop 88), Kei Kamara, Julio Cesar (Omar Bravo 56), Jeferson, Roger Espinoza, Graham Zusi, C.J. Sapong.
Substitutes Not Used: Michael Harrington, Soony Saad, Milos Stojcev, Eric Kronberg.
Referee: Terry Vaughn
Referee's Assistants: Fabio Tovar; Ian Anderson
4th Official: Juan Guzman
Time of Game: 1:54
Weather: Sunny and 90 degrees