The game in 100 words (or less): Round 1 — and the first “six points” — of the rare “12-pointer” between Sporting Kansas City and the Portland Timbers — league games to be played against one another on back-to-back weekend — went to the former, the home side, on Sunday. Jacob Peterson scored the game’s only goal to send Peter Vermes’ (100th regular-season victory in Vermes’ coaching career) side (34 points) five points clear of the Caleb Porter’s bunch, and more importantly, the Western Conference playoff cut line. Jake Gleeson made a handful of spectacular saves (and double-saves) in the second half just to keep it a one-goal game, but the defending MLS Cup champs, who knocked off Sunday’s foes in last year’s playoffs via a penalty shootout for the ages, forced Sporting’s backup goalkeeper, Alec Kann, into just one save on the afternoon. Round 2 is scheduled for next Sunday afternoon.
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Three Four moments that mattered
20′ — Feilhaber smashes the crossbar — Benny Feilhaber is one of the last players you want a loose rebound to fall to inside the penalty area, but Gleeson was let off the hook when Feilhaber smashed the crossbar from the penalty spot.
50′ — Peterson heads home to break the deadlock — This delicate ball over the top shall henceforth be referred to as “the Feilhaber special.”
60′ — Gleeson makes a ridiculous save to keep it 1-0 — Going one direction, stopping on a dime, and launching his body the opposite direction … Gleeson atones for his mistake.
91′ — McInerney cracks the crossbar in stoppage time — Jack McInerney goes just inches high of a stunning equalizer.
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Man of the match: Benny Feilhaber
Goalscorers: Peterson (50′)