Sporting Kansas City 0, Portland Timbers 0 | MLS Match Recap
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Several things almost happened in Saturday night's game. Two important things didn't.
Nobody scored in the match in Kansas City, and neither Sporting Kansas City nor the Portland Timbers managed to pick up their first win of 2015.
The Timbers managed to stay unbeaten with their third draw in as many outings, while Sporting failed to score for the first time this year and saw their winless streak – dating back to October 2014 – reach seven matches across all competitions.
It didn't shape up like a scoreless draw in the early going, though, especially with speedy Colombian winger Jimmy Medranda making his first start of the year for Sporting while Krisztian Nemeth was out with a knee sprain sustained in training this week.
With Medranda active in ball-winning and pushing hard down the flanks, Sporting came out pressing hard and high. They were nearly rewarded for it in the ninth minute, only to see center back Ike Opara's powerful header off a corner kick sent inches wide of Kwarasey's left post.
Paulo Nagamura smashed a left-footed shot just wide in the 24th minute, as the hosts continued to create opportunities in and around the Portland 18. Nagamura had a second shot in the 39th minute saved and then cleared out of danger by Kwarasey.
That was the only shot on goal for the hosts in the first half, despite a 9-4 advantage on overall attempts before the break.
It was the same story in the second half as well, with promising possessions for Sporting coming to nothing – such as Graham Zusi's twisting, weaving run through the defense in the 61st minute, followed by a block of Bernardo Anor's shot from distance.
Portland showed flashes of danger themselves, as when Fanendo Adi forced a save from Marin in the 62nd minute, but struggled to assert themselves in the buildup as Sporting kept a tight defensive presence on speedy midfielder Darlington Nagbe.
Opara had another solid chance in the 77th minute, when he found himself in space near the back post, but headed Marcel de Jong's cross over the bar. In the 79th, Jalil Anibaba's header – this one off a Zusi corner kick – flashed right over the goal.
Both teams are away next Saturday as Sporting visit expansion side New York City FC and the Timbers meet their Cascadia Cup rivals in Vancouver.
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.