Recap: Bravo, Sporting KC top 'Caps, still unbeaten at home
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Sporting Kansas City defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 at Livestrong Sporting Park on Saturday to move out of the basement for the first time in more than a month.
Sporting (4-6-5) got goals from Omar Bravo and Júlio César after falling behind via an early header from Camilo to extend their unbeaten streak to seven games in league play and earn their second consecutive win at home. Vancouver (2-7-8) are now alone in last place overall and ninth in the Western Conference on 14 points.
Sporting were just inches away from taking an early lead in the fifth minute. After Graham Zusi’s corner kick passed through the area without a touch, Roger Espinoza ran the ball down and chipped a ball to the back post, where Omar Bravo rose up and sent it back across goal. A sliding C.J. Sapong couldn’t get on the end of the ball, and it ran out for a goal kick.
But despite dominating play for the first 15 minutes, it was Sporting who conceded first. Following a foul by Júlio César on the left flank, Davide Chiumiento served a dead ball toward the penalty spot and Camilo flicked it into the far corner, leaving the home team with the task of coming from behind for the first time in their new stadium.
The Whitecaps' advantage, however, was short lived. Sporting equalized in the 32nd minute through a penalty kick from Bravo after Jay DeMerit took him down in the box, then Sporting took the lead in the 40th when Bravo headed Zusi’s corner back across the six-yard box for Júlio César to whip past 'keeper Cannon.
Vancouver made two changes at halftime, removing Chiumiento and DeMerit, and nearly equalized in the 53rd minute when Hassli turned Matt Besler at the top of the penalty area but sent his shot directly into Nielsen’s feet.
Both teams exchanged half chances from there, with Nielsen cleaning up a handful of deflected or weak shots from outside the area and Sporting failing to take advantage of the space and time they managed to create.
VAN – Camilo 5 (David Chiumiento 7) 15
SKC – Omar Bravo 3 (penalty kick) 32
SKC – Julio Cesar 1 (Graham Zusi 3, Bravo 1) 40
VAN – Jay DeMerit (caution; Reckless Tackle) 32
VAN – Bilal Duckett (caution; Reckless Tackle) 84
Vancouver Whitecaps – Joe Cannon, Jonathan Leathers, Michael Boxall, Jay DeMerit (Bilal Duckett 45), Alain Rochat, Shea Salinas, Jeb Brovsky, Camilo, Terry Dunfield (Gershon Koffie 76), Davide Chiumiento (Russell Teibert 45), Eric Hassli
Substitutes Not Used: Jay Nolly, Greg Janicki, Nizar Khalfan, Omar Salgado
Sporting Kansas City – Jimmy Nielsen, Chance Myers, Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Seth Sinovic, Omar Bravo (Michael Harrington 85), Roger Espinoza, Julio Cesar, Milos Stojcev (Davy Arnaud 69), Graham Zusi, C.J. Sapong (Kei Kamara 81)
Substitutes Not Used: Eric Kronberg, Teal Bunbury, Birahim Diop, Luke Sassano
Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Referee's Assistants: Colin Arblaster, Mike Rottersman
4th Official: Sorin Stoica
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 81 degrees