MLS Snapshot: Sporting Kansas City 1-0 Seattle Sounders (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): Neither side had any of its first-choice strikers available from the start — Obafemi Martins, Clint Dempsey, Chad Barrett, Dom Dwyer or Krisztian Nemeth — and only Dwyer was in the house Saturday night. A pair of false-nines led the line for Sporting KC and the Seattle Sounders, as the two sides played 80 minutes of scoreless soccer, before a questionable penalty was awarded to Sporting KC inside the final 10 minutes. Seattle will certainly feel hard done by, as their perfectly good goal was taken away just 15 minutes earlier. Referees never like it when they’re mentioned in the opening of any match report, but here we are. We know on which side of the fence Sporting KC and Sounders will fall, but what do the neutrals say? Either way, it’s seven games unbeaten (four wins, three draws) for Sporting.

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Three moments that mattered

62′ — Melia comes up big against Pappa — Marco Pappa found the rare bit of space inside the Sporting penalty area, and if not for Tim Melia making the strong save from close range, it would have been 1-0, Sounders.

66′ — Offside call wrongly rules out Neagle’s goal — It was very briefly 1-0 to the Sounders, before an incorrect offside call negated what was really a tidy finish from Lamar Neagle, poking home Pappa’s cross.

83′ — Dwyer goes down, Sporting awarded a penalty — Stefan Frei was adjudged to have taken down Dwyer inside the penalty area — as I said, questionable call — and Sporting had themselves a penalty. Benny Feilhaber stepped up and converted as cool as could be done with the game on the line.

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Man of the match: Tim Melia — The career-long journeyman ‘keeper made six saves on the night, including four crucial, one-on-one stops to keep the game scoreless until late. I wonder how this one would have ended with Luis Marin in goal.

LINEUPS

Sporting Kansas City: Melia, Dia, Besler, Ellis, Anibaba, Mustivar, Espinoza, Feilhaber, De Jong (Dwyer 58′), Zusi, Hallisey (Abdul-Salaam 85′)

Goals: Feilhaber (PK – 84′)

Seattle Sounders: Frei, Remick, Marshall, Scott, Mears, Pineda, Azira (Jones 86′), Pappa (Thomas 80′), Rose, Roldan (Gonzalez 77′), Neagle