Sporting tops Vancouver to stay perfect
Vancouver, BC – Sporting Kansas City continues to roll as a 3-1 defeat of Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place on Wednesday saw the club preserve its perfect start to the 2012 Major League Soccer season.
With 18 points through its opening six games, Sporting came to Vancouver with a chance make it a perfect 7-0-0 and go 11 points clear at the top of the Eastern Conference.
That is exactly what happened as Aurelien Collin and Kei Kamara, helped by a second-half own goal, lifted Sporting to a crucial road win. Sebastien Le Toux notched the lone goal for the Whitecaps.
An early charge from Vancouver was spoiled in the 24th minute when the 'Caps failed to fully clear a corner kick from Sporting. The visitors repeatedly pumped the ball into the box before it kindly fell to Collin at the back post, and the Frenchman made no mistake as he stuffed home the loose ball for his third goal of the season.
While Collin did not receive credit for Sporting's second goal, he certainly had a hand in doubling the lead six minutes after the restart. The Sporting defender made a darting run into the box in attempt to connect on long throw- in, but it was instead turned in by Collin's mark, Martin Bonjour.
The Whitecaps nearly had a bit of fortune three minutes later when Seth Sinovic almost conceded an own goal, but his near-gaffe was rescued by a brilliant tip over the crossbar from Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen.
That scoring chance gave the impression that the next goal would be crucial in determining the final result, and it was Sporting's leading scorer who would provide the telling strike.
Kamara struck in the 65th minute with his fourth goal of the MLS season as he drifted into the box and clipped a low cross from Chance Myers past Vancouver 'keeper Joe Cannon.
Vancouver was able to pull back a consolation goal as Le Toux nodded an 80th- minute effort off the crossbar but stuffed home the rebound to deny Nielsen another clean sheet.
Le Toux's strike put a stop to Sporting's staunch defensive displays of late - the club went 415 minutes without conceding a goal.
Several late scoring chances from Vancouver made for a slightly nervy finish, but Sporting's lead was never in doubt as the club walked away with three points yet again.
Kansas City (7-0-0) will look to continue its perfect start to the season when it heads to Jeld-Wen Field to face the Portland Timbers on Saturday.
Vancouver (2-2-2) has seen its once-perfect start fall by the wayside as two straight losses have kept the 'Caps in the bottom three of the Western Conference. They will look to get back on track when they return to action against FC Dallas on Saturday at BC Place.