Sporting Kansas City 2, Colorado Rapids 0 | MLS Match Recap
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Krisztian Nemeth doesn't always put the ball on frame. But when he does, he scores.
Sporting Kansas City's Hungarian forward scored his seventh goal of the year – out of seven shots on goal – tying an MLS record and sparking Sporting to a 2-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night.
Nemeth is the second player in league history to score on his first seven shots on goal, but the first to do it in only one season. Claudio Suarez managed the feat in 2006-07 with the now-defunct Chivas USA.
Sporting (7-3-6) also benefited from an own goal by the Rapids in improving to 6-0-3 at home this year and winning three of their last four, while Colorado (2-6-9) are winless in their last six matches. Over that span, the Rapids have scored just twice.
Tim Melia made two saves, one that required a dash from the front to the back of his penalty area, and recorded his fifth clean sheet in eight league starts for Kansas City.
This was the second match scheduled between the two sides this season at Sporting Park, but only the first to be played after severe weather forced the postponement of their May 16 match to Oct. 21. This time, there was only a momentary water delay when the sprinkler system came on early in the second half.
Despite Sporting's early pressure and possession and their own defensive setup with lone striker Luis Solignac up top, the Rapids had two good scoring chances in the first 21 minutes but couldn't capitalize on either.
In the 14th, Melia came out to the top of the 18 to punch away a high ball, then dashed back into the goalmouth to swat down and then corral Marcelo Sarvas' long chip from 35 yards. Seven minutes later, Gabriel Torres' shot deflected off defender Kevin Ellis' foot and went just inches wide of the post.
Nemeth didn't squander his chance for Sporting in the 32nd minute, though, taking a cross from right back Chance Myers and driving the ball past a sprawling Clint Irwin and just inside the post. Benny Feilhaber also recorded an assist on the play, extending his single-season career high to nine.
Myers made his first MLS start of the year after a season-ending Achilles tendon rupture in May 2014, although he had already played in a US Open Cup match this year for Sporting. He played into the 89th minute before being lifted for rookie Amadou Dia.
It won't count in the record books, but Feilhaber also figured prominently in Sporting's second score. He sent in a long cross from the right flank, with Ellis near the goal, but the ball went off Rapids midfielder Sam Cronin for an own goal and a 2-0 lead.
Sporting and the Rapids both host US Open Cup matches at midweek in the round of 16, Colorado against Houston on Tuesday and Sporting against FC Dallas. The Rapids return to MLS action at home against Vancouver on July 4, while Sporting are off in league play until traveling to take on the Whitecaps on July 12.
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.