3. Killing off the game
In 2019, Sporting KC dropped a record-breaking number of points in the final 15 minutes of games. It was an absolute killer for their season. On this occasion, Peter Vermes’ side were keen to suffocate the game of any life late on.
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With great patience and intelligence, Vancouver’s only chance fell to Lucas Cavallini, but his opportunity was smothered by Tim Melia. Other than that, the Whitecaps didn’t even get a sniff at goal as Sporting held possession throughout the closing stages before finishing their first match with a thunderous volley from Erik Hurtado.
Killing off games typically requires a lot of defending. But that wasn’t the case in Vancouver. The midfield and forward lines were excellent in keeping possession, making Vancouver chase the ball. Khiry Shelton was excellent during this period. He seemed to always be in a good position to make the right decision and kill the clock.
Peter Vermes made use of all three substitutions, and two of them were Gerso Fernandes and Hurtado who combined for the goal to guarantee the three points. All in all, SKC managed the match excellently, which could not always be said about them last season.