VANCOUVER, B.C. – The league’s top dogs still have a perfect record.
Sporting KC showed why they've started the season in record fashion on Wednesday night in front of 15,382 fans at BC Place, defeating the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1 through goals from Aurelien Collin, Kei Kamara and an own goal from Martin Bonjour.
Collin got things going for Sporting 24 minutes in as he latched onto a bouncing ball in the area. Sporting had maintained possession following a corner, and Graham Zusi’s cross found Collin, who headed back to Roger Espinoza. The Honduran international's shot took a ricochet, flying into the path of the Frenchman who managed to poke the ball across the line from close range.
Bonjour’s own goal on the other side of halftime doubled KC’s lead, and again Collin was involved. Bonjour, while defending a Matt Besler throw-in, attempted to direct the ball back to Whitecaps 'keeper Joe Cannon while being pressured by Collin. Unfortunately for Vancouver, Bonjour's backpass was travelling at such pace that the ball went straight into the corner as a helpless Cannon watched in agony, making it 2-0 Sporting in the 51st.
Fourteen minutes later Kamara sealed the victory for Sporting, finishing a cross from Chance Myers. Kamara started the play by passing the ball out wide to Myers, and the fullback returned the favor to set the 27-year-old up at the near post for the 3-0 lead.
But after several changes, the Whitecaps got back into the game. They were rewarded in the 80th minute with a consolation goal as substitute Omar Salgado crossed from the left to fellow sub Camilo, whose shot hit off the bar and rebounded to a grateful Sebastien Le Toux to head in from close range. Sporting 'keeper Jimmy Nielsen - who had more to do in the second 45 minutes than he had in the previous four games - got a touch on the ball, but wasn’t able to keep it out of the side netting.
Vancouver grabbed the momentum then and put Nielsen under serious pressure for the last 10 minutes. Camilo hit a scorching left-foot effort which forced a fine save from the Dane in the 83rd. Moments later Nielsen had to get down low to stop a shot from Eric Hassli.
There was to be no repeat of 2011's three-goal Vancouver comeback, however, as the Sporting defense held firm.
With the win SKC are now 7-0-0. They're back in action on Saturday as they look to continue their winning ways against another Cascadia team, the Portland Timbers, at JELD-WEN Field.
The Whitecaps, who drop to 2-2-2, now prepare for a match against FC Dallas at BC Place on Saturday looking to end a four-match winless streak.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Jimmy Nielsen||Remember him? The White Puma hasn't had much to do all year, but he was spectacular in the 2nd half tonight keeping both his team and Vancouver at bay.|
|2||Aurelien Collin||You may not like his physical style, but there's little question it gets results. Collin has 3 goals already and is the heart of the league's best defense.|
|3||Sebastien Le Toux||Constantly got into position to do damage and got a true poacher's goal. Took a beating all game long, but always got up. Eventually - too late - wore down the KC backline.|
HIGHLIGHTS: VAN vs SKC