Sporting KC falls 2-1 at Toronto FC
Sporting Kansas City fell 2-1 to Toronto FC on Saturday at the Rogers Centre, suffering the team’s first defeat in 14 MLS regular season games dating back to last August. Designated Player Claudio Bieler scored his second goal in as many games for the club off of a volley in the 77th minute, but a pair of first half goals from Toronto FC forward Robert Earnshaw earned the full three points for Toronto FC in their first home match of 2013.
Toronto FC started the match strong, notching a goal in the third minute of play when Earnshaw intercepted a pass in the defensive third and capitalized on the chance with a well-taken shot from the right side of the penalty area for his first MLS goal.
Sporting KC responded four minutes later when Chance Myers made an overlapping run and cut the ball to Benny Feilhaber, who chipped it just wide of the goal.
Earnshaw doubled Toronto’s lead in the 20th minute from the penalty mark after Paulo Nagamura was judged to have fouled newly-acquired midfielder John Bostock inside the box. With Nielsen guessing to his left, Earnshaw slotted his shot to the opposite side for the eventual match-winner.
Toronto FC nearly claimed a third goal in the 31st minute when Reggie Lambe sent in a swinging shot from the top of the box that was just wide of the far post. Sporting KC got in one last look at goal before the end of the half when Collin was on the receiving end of a free kick, but his glancing header was just wide of the near post.
Myers gave Sporting KC their first scoring opportunity of the second half in the 52nd minute when his glancing header was just wide of the left post. Nine minutes later, halftime substitute C.J. Sapong nearly netted a goal for Sporting Kansas City when he won a header from a Graham Zusi free kick only to see it rattle off the crossbar.
Claudio Bieler provided a much-needed lifeline to Sporting Kansas City with under 15 minutes remaining. Sapong flicked on a long service from Jimmy Nielsen and the Argentinian striker took a shot from distance that blazed past Joseph Bendik.
The 89th minute nearly saw an equalizer for Sporting Kansas City when a long throw-in from Besler bounced around the box and fell to Bieler at top the top of the area, but his right-footed volley was punched out by Bendik.
Six minutes into stoppage time, Sporting KC came close again when Zusi sent in a free kick that Collin headed just wide of the goal on a last gasp attempt at salvaging a road result.
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