KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen came within 10 minutes of a shutout despite being hit in the head by an object thrown from the stands, and Sporting Kansas City beat the Portland Timbers 3-1 on Wednesday night.
Graham Zusi scored twice and Soony Saad marked his 19th birthday and his MLS debut with another goal for Sporting K.C. (8-7-9).
Portland (7-12-5) lost its second straight.
Nielsen was struck by a piece from an Omar Bravo bobblehead doll, one of thousands given away to fans in attendance. The Danish keeper lay on the field for 4 minutes but was able to continue after being checked out by medical personnel.
Two people were arrested.
Nielsen, who was getting a drink beside the goal when he was hit, said he's had objects thrown at him "a million times, but never at home.
"It happens," he said. "It's no big deal."
The incident happened shortly after Zusi's 25th-minute goal put Sporting up 1-0. Zusi scored his second in the 40th, tapping in Troy Perkins' save of Teal Bunbury's shot for a 2-0 lead.
Saad, a second-half sub, scored in the 72nd minute when he deflected Eric Brunner's clearance attempt over Perkins.
Bright Dike's goal in the 81st broke up Nielsen's shutout bid.