Sporting Kansas City 4, New England Revolution 2 | MLS Match Recap
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The last time Sporting Kansas City tried to play at home, a spring thunderstorm shut everything down.
This time, it just rained goals.
Four days after lightning forced the postponement of their match against Colorado, Sporting got a brace from Hungarian winger Krisztian Nemeth and one goal apiece from Dom Dwyer and Benny Feilhaber, rallying from an early deficit to beat the New England Revolution 4-2 on Wednesday night.
Three of the goals – including both of Nemeth's – came in a seven-minute span on either side of halftime for Sporting (4-2-5), who ran their unbeaten string to four matches despite suiting up only 17 players because of injuries and international duty. New England (5-3-4) had a nine-match unbeaten streak snapped and missed a chance to move atop the Eastern Conference standings.
Juan Agudelo put on a display of pace and control in scoring his 11th-minute goal, after outrunning defender Kevin Ellis to Kelyn Rowe's long diagonal ball 30 yards from goal. He settled the ball with his first touch, made a cutback that took Ellis off his feet, and calmly slotted the ball past Tim Melia with the Sporting goalkeeper caught well off his line.
Sporting had two chances to answer through Dwyer in the 19th and 20th minute, but couldn't convert either one. Jose Goncalves broke up the first threat, sliding to block Dwyer's shot from 10 yards after a square pass from Feilhaber, and Dwyer fired high a minute later after getting behind Goncalves and running onto Feilhaber's long through ball.
Dwyer made no mistakes in the 29th minute, though, with an equalizer at the expense of Jermaine Jones, who looked uncomfortable in central defense all night. Dwyer squared up with his back to Jones to take Nemeth's pass, spun to his right and fired a low left-footer inside Brad Knighton's right post.
Jones got victimized again on Nemeth's 39th-minute header, off Feilhaber's free kick following a foul 25 yards out – but Goncalves didn't help him out on the play, either, dropping back to keep Nemeth onside just before Feilhaber took the kick. Nemeth got inside position on Jones and buried the ball in the bottom left corner, giving Feilhaber his sixth assist of the year – one shy of his career high, and matching his total from all of last year.
Just three minutes after that, Goncalves was called for a foul on Dwyer just inside the top of the penalty – a decision that left Revs manager Jay Heaps in visible anger and disbelief. Feilhaber stepped to the spot in the 43rd minute and sent a slow roller to Knighton's right as the 'keeper dived to his left, giving Sporting their first three-goal half since a 4-0 win over Montreal on April 19, 2014.
Twenty-three seconds into the second half, Nemeth bagged his second of the night and his fifth of the season, one ahead of Dwyer for the club scoring lead. Winger Jacob Peterson made a long run to pick Kevin Alston's pocket as the Revs left back faced his own goal, and sent a perfect diagonal pass that Nemeth settled and finished cleanly under Knighton to make it 4-1.
Scott Caldwell pulled one back for New England in the 64th minute, knocking home second-half sub Teal Bunbury's cross from just right of the penalty spot, but the visitors could get no closer. Melia came up big for Sporting in the 82nd, diving to his right to stop Chris Tierney's shot after a restart and keep the margin at two.
Both teams will be playing on two days' rest on Saturday, Sporting at Seattle and the Revolution at home to D.C. United.
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.