One game in 100 words: Neither team wanted to break out the aggressive offense in this contest, so a closely contested result appeared very possible. Sporting finished the competition with less possession (45.4 percent) than Vancouver had and numbered two fewer shots on target than the home side. Nonetheless, the Whitecaps let up at the wrong time and SKC, delivering on the loan goal and harnessing stout defending, did not see this opportunity go to waste. Play got chippy near stoppage time as Dom Dwyer and Kendall Waston tried to gain the attention of referees. At sixth place in the Western Conference, Kansas City is now five points in front of the San Jose Earthquakes. Vancouver sits at second place, and is bound to FC Dallas and Seattle Sounders with 32 points.
Kansas City: Kevin Ellis 52′
Three moments that mattered
61’ — Off the line — A throw-in to dangerous Vancouver forward Octavio Rivero–his back to the net–gave Cristian Techera room to receive a back-heeled through ball. The Uruguayan broke free in the box and fired a left-footer from close range that, bouncing off goalkeeper Tim Melia and Matt Besler, creeped along the goal line prior to a heads-up clearance from Amadou Dia.
52’— Ellis converts — Defender Kevin Ellis scored his second goal of the 2015 season by connecting with a header. Krisztian Nemeth planted his feet and dropped a pinpoint cross between two defenders, and Ellis knocked it perfectly. This score proved to be the decisive one due to Sporting’s ability to hold firm on defense.
90’ — Melia with the huge stop — Whitecaps midfielder Mauro Rosales skyrocketed a delivery into the box from a long-range set piece. It landed right on the head of a high-jumping Tim Parker, but Melia’s reflexes were strong enough to cause his rapid reaction–a diving save to his right side.
Vancouver: Octavio Rivero; David Ousted; Steven Beitashour (Robert Earnshaw 84′), Kendall Waston, Tim Parker, Jordan Harvey; Matias Laba, Gershon Koffie (Deybi Flores 59′), Mauro Rosales, Cristian Techera, Kekuta Manneh (Erik Hurtado 80′)
Kansas City: Jacob Peterson (Connor Hallisey 83′), Dominic Dwyer, Krisztian Nemeth; Tim Melia; Saad Abdul-Salaam, Kevin Ellis, Matt Besler, Amadou Dia; Benny Feilhaber, Soni Mustivar, Roger Espinoza