September 14, 2012
by Soccer News Net Staff
Narrow escape for Sporting KC; Galaxy move up in West
HOUSTON DYNAMO 1, SPORTING KANSAS CITY 1
|CJ Sapong snapped his 12-game scoring drought to lift Sporting Kansas City into a 1-1 draw with Houston in the third minute of stoppage time Friday at Livestrong Sporting Park.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
KANSAS CITY, Kan.-CJ Sapong scored in the third minute of stoppage time to lift Sporting Kansas City into a 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo Friday night at Livestrong Sporting Park.
The draw guarantees that Sporting (15-7-6, 51 pts) will hang on to first place in the MLS East through the weekend, and leaves the Dynamo level on points with third-place New York.
Sporting, and especially Sapong, failed to capitalize on a number of early chances, and it appeared that they were going to pay for their failure to finish when Houston’s Brad Davis sent a 21-yard left-footer – only the second shot on goal of the game for Houston -- skipping under netminder Jimmy Nielsen and into the right side of the net in the 58th minute. After Dynamo netminder Tally Hall stopped Chance Myers’ sharp header off Graham Zusi’s free kick in the 81st minute, and a handball in the box by Aurelien Collin short-circuited another Kansas City attack, the Dynamo were poised to celebrate their fourth road win of the season when Sapong leveled the score.
Zusi settled the ball just inside the top left corner of the penalty area, then popped a pass toward the far corner for Sapong, who bounced a header into the net.
Both goalkeepers came up big. Hall (seven saves) leaped to push Sapong’s sharp header around the post in the 33rd minute. Nielsen finished with only two saves, but one was a critical one-on-one stop on Dynamo scoring leader Will Bruin in the 42nd.
LA GALAXY 2, COLORADO RAPIDS 0
CARSON, Calif.---Robbie Keane and newcomer Christian Wilhelmsson scored to lead the Los Angeles Galaxy to a 2-0 win over the Colorado Rapids at the Home Depot Center Friday night.
Keane's goal, in the 15th minute, was the end result of well-orchestrated passing by the Galaxy that began with Marcelo Sarvas doing a give-and-go with Landon Donovan. With Keane pointing to where he wanted the ball, the Irishman made a perfect run between two Rapids defenders to finish with a left- footed shot to the left side of the net.
In his Galaxy debut, Wilhelmsson doubled LA's lead in the 58th minute. Getting a long ball over the top from Sarvas, the Swede spun around in front of two Rapids defenders just outside the 18 yard box, then took a left footed shot that Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens got a hand on, but could only slow down before it settled in the lower right corner of the net.
The Rapids outshot the Galaxy 19-10, but put only one of their attempts on target, while the Galaxy peppered Pickens, forcing him to make six saves. In addition to assisting on both Galaxy goals, Sarvas slid in behind out-of-position netminder Josh Saunders to block Conor Casey’s shot from in front of the goal in the 88th minute.
With the win, the Galaxy improve to 13-11-4, 43 pts and move into third place in the MLS west, ahead of idle Real Salt Lake on total goals scored. Colorado falls to 9-18-2.
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