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Jul 19, 2014; Kansas City, KS, USA; Sporting KC defender Aurelien Collin (78) heads the ball on goal against the Los Angeles Galaxy during the second half at Sporting Park. Sporting KC won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting Kansas City Hold Off Los Angeles Galaxy (VIDEO)


Peter Vermes’s Sporting Kansas City are at the top of the MLS Eastern Conference for a reason: they are able to get huge wins over opponents that have momentum also on their side. On Saturday at Sporting Park, they were able to secure a 2-1 victory over Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy, snapping an eight-game unbeaten streak for LA. Here are six things we learned, followed by player ratings, for the match between Sporting Kansas City and the Los Angeles Galaxy.

1. Benny with his jets…strikes first

Early on in the first half, Lawrence Olum tried a shot that missed high and wide to the right in the third minute. Igor Julião had a right-footed shot from the outside the box saved in the bottom right corner in the sixth minute of play. Two minutes later, Julião missed to the right in another close shot. In the 10th minute, Benny Feilhaber opened up the scoring with a curling free kick. Take a look.

2. More direct football from Sporting Kansas City

Sporting continued to go direct following the Feilhaber goal. Soony Saad had an attempt from outside the box blocked in the 13th minute. In the 15th minute, volleys from Feilhaber and Toni both missed wide to the left. A Seth Sinovic through ball for Dominic Dwyer was called back for offsides in the 18th minute. Defender Matt Besler, who was given a new DP deal along with Graham Zusi, tried a through ball for Dwyer in the 27th minute but it was called back for offsides.

3. Los Angeles can’t take advantage of missed opportunities

In the 32nd minute, a shot from Saad from outside the box was saved by Jaime Penedo. Despite the Galaxy winning a number of set piece opportunities late in the first half, Sporting’s defense held sway. Also, poor finishing continues to show itself for the visitors. In the 41st minute, Baggio Husidic had a right-footed shot from outside the box blocked. In the 43rd minute, Marcelo Sarvas had a right-footed shot missed high and wide right.

4. Lawrence Olum makes it 2-0 Sporting

At the halftime break, Sporting forward Jacob Peterson came in for Toni. In the 47th minute, Hudisic hit the right post with a blistering volley from outside the box. In the 48th minute of play, Saad had a shot from the center of the box blocked. The ball went to Peterson but he missed wide left.

In the 50th minute, Gyasi Zardes had a shot that was saved by Sporting goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum and in the 54th, Keane’s attempt was skied over the bar. Sarvas also had a shot that was too high in the 56th. Peterson’s next attempt from the center of the box missed to the left in the 58th minute. Sporting took a 2-0 lead on Lawrence Olum’s second goal of the season in the 61st minute of play off a corner kick. Take a look…

5. More close calls for Los Angeles in second half

The price a team pays for not finishing its chances is steep, and the Los Angeles Galaxy know this all too well. So the onus was on the visitors to make this a game. Donovan tried a through ball for Keane in the 63rd minute but it was called back for offsides. Keane tried a through ball for Zardes seconds later but it was also called back for offsides. The little mistakes the Galaxy were making offensively were beginning to pile up. In the 65th minute, Keane hit the bar, adding to LA’s finishing woes.

Olum was cautioned for a foul in the 66th minute. In that same minute, Feilhaber’s delivery to Aurelien Collin was called back for offsides. In the 70th minute Stefan Ishizaki filled in for Juninho. Dom Dwyer, who had been bottled up for most of the match, had a header from the center of the box miss to the left. C.J. Sapong came in for a tiring Saad in the 73rd minute of play. Bradford Jamieson IV, formerly of the Galaxy Academy and Galaxy II, earned his debut in the 75th minute, replacing A.J. DeLaGarza.

6. Robbie Keane pulls one back, but not enough

In the 79th minute, Robbie Keane scored his 10th goal of the season, taking advantage of the offside trap and giving the Galaxy a reason to keep going in this contest. As for Sporting, they were hoping to hang on, and they would.

In the 81st minute, Collin had a shot from the center of the box miss to the right following a corner. Dwyer had a header blocked in the 82nd minute. Sporting defender Kevin Ellis came in for Igor Julião in the 83rd minute of play while in the 84th , Galaxy midfielder Kenney Walker came in for Husidic. Defender Kofi Opare had a header from the left side miss wide left that same minute. Keane would be cautioned for a foul in the 88th minute of play. In the 89th minute, Dwyer’s next attemp from the center of the box was saved by Penedo. Peterson was also cautioned in the third minute of second half stoppage time for a foul.

Team Statistics

Sporting Kansas City in blue, Los Angeles Galaxy in yellow

17 Shots 9
6 Shots on Target 2
8 Shots off Target 6
3 Blocked Shots 1
11 Corners 3
23 Crosses 10
4 Offsides 2
12 Fouls 12
2 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 0
342 Total Passes 435
83 % Passing Accuracy 83 %
45.3 % Possession 54.7 %
42 Duels Won 49
11 Tackles Won 18
1 Saves 4
23 Clearances 36

Sporting Kansas City Player Ratings

Andy Gruenebaum 5, Aurelien Collin 6, Igor Julião 6, Matt Besler 6, Seth Sinovic 6, Benny Feilhaber 8, Graham Zusi 7, Lawrence Olum 7.5, Dominic Dwyer 7, Soony Saad 6, Toni 5, Jacob PEterson 4.5, C.J. Sapong 3, Kevin Ellis NR

Los Angeles Galaxy Player Ratings

Jaime Penedo 6, A.J. DeLaGarza 4, Kofi Opare 4, Leonardo 4, Tommy Meyer 4, Baggio Husidic 5, Juninho 5, Landon Donovan 5, Marcelo Sarvas 5, Gyasi Zardes 5, Robbie Keane 6.5, Stefan Ishizaki 4, Bradford Jamieson IV 6, Kenney Walker NR

Tags: Los Angeles Galaxy MLS Sporting Kansas City

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