TORONTO — A brace by C.J. Sapong was enough to see Sporting Kansas City dispatch a struggling Toronto FC side by a 2-1 margin on a soggy Saturday afternoon at BMO Field.
Kansas City broke through and opened the scoring in the 18th minute when a defensive breakdown by Toronto FC allowed a completely unmarked Sapong to head the ball into the back of the net after fellow forward Dominic Dwyer had nodded it back across the box following a well-placed long ball from Graham Zusi.
The game looked like it was going to turn in TFC’s favor just before the half-hour mark when Sporting defender Aurelien Collin, already on a yellow card, appeared to deliver an elbow to the head of Toronto winger Alvaro Rey on the edge of the Kansas City penalty area. Although referee Allen Chapman called a foul on the play, the French defender surprisingly escaped a second yellow and a sending off.
Some clumsy defending by Collin, in partnership with goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, nonetheless allowed Toronto to equalize in the 38th minute when Rey picked up a loose ball and set up midfielder Darel Russell for his second goal of the season on a low shot just inside the left post.
Toronto came close to taking the lead just before halftime when striker Bright Dike saw his header off a corner kick cleared off the line by former TFC winger Jacob Peterson.
Kansas City engineered a winner in the 53rd minute when Sapong once again got the better of the TFC backline and headed in his second of the game via a cross into the Toronto box from right back Chance Myers.
- HIGHLIGHTS: All the key plays from Sporting's victory at BMO
Toronto went down to 10 men in the 86th minute when TFC captain Steven Caldwell was handed a straight red for a foul on Sporting KC defender Josh Gardner. A miserable afternoon for the home side was later punctuated when Chapman ejected TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen and assistant coach Fran O’Leary during injury time for dissent after a penalty shout was ignored.
With the loss, Toronto saw their current winless streak stretch to eight games. Kansas City, meanwhile, won their third league match in a row as they continue to battle for playoff positioning at the top of the Eastern Conference standings.
Sporting Kansas City return to action on Friday, Sept. 27th against the Philadelphia Union at Sporting Park, while TFC will play their second straight match at home on Saturday, Sept. 28th against D.C. United.
- FANTASY SOCCER: 12 points from Sapong
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||C.J. Sapong||Yes, he was wide open. But you still have to finish, and he did -- twice -- to deliver an ugly win on an ugly day.|
|2||Darel Russell||Nice bit of opportunism gave TFC the chance to pull off an upset.|
|3||Seth Sinovic||Good job of shutting down the right side of TFC's offense when the rest of the back line had problems in its own end.|