A mob of sprinkler heads sprouted up across the Sporting Park field shortly after halftime Saturday, supplying an unexpected shower on a warm evening. An ensuing two-minute delay interrupted the latest dominant home showing from Sporting Kansas City.
Sporting KC scored once before the intrusion and once more shortly after it to formulate a 2-0 victory against Colorado in front of 19,835 fans at Sporting Park.
A multi-goal victory ensured Sporting KC maintained its unblemished home record (6-0-3), and the club remained undefeated at home against the Rapids since 2002, a stretch that spans 15 matches.
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Sporting KC was 6-5-6 inside Sporting Park last season.
“I think there’s more urgency (at home) this year,” Sporting KC captain Matt Besler said. “We know that when we play at home, if we can put away one of our first two or three chances, it changes the game. That’s one difference from last year.”
On Saturday, the early goal came from Krisztian Nemeth. He sized up the pass from Chance Myers and needed only one touch to re-direct it into the net.
Nemeth added to his team-leading goal total with his seventh of the season — and he became only the second player in MLS history to score on his first seven shots on goal. Claudio Suarez accomplished the same feat for Chivas USA.
“I had the luck to find a good space to the goal,” Nemeth said. “Wait, not lucky. It was a good shot.”
The tally earned Myers an assist in his first MLS start since May 23, 2014, when he exited early with a torn left Achilles’ tendon. Myers played 90 minutes before he was replaced by Amadou Dia.
“I felt pretty good,” he said. “... I think two or three times I got winded, but I got my wind back and just pushed through it.”
Benny Feilhaber was credited with a secondary assist on Nemeth’s goal— his league-best ninth of the season.
He also played a part in the second goal, even if he didn’t officially earn any of the credit. In the 65th minute, he swung a pass into the box, which deflected off Colorado midfielder Sam Cronin and into the back of the net. The play was ruled an own goal.
The two-goal cushion wasn’t necessary.
After suffering his first loss as a Sporting KC starter in Sunday’s loss in Salt Lake, goalkeeper Tim Melia found his fifth win of the season. He also claimed the fifth shutout.
The latter came in interesting fashion.
Melia played out a bizarre sequence in the 14th minute, when he came out to punch a ball away from danger at the top of the box. The ball fell to the foot of Colorado midfielder Marcelo Sarvas, who attempted to loft the ball over Melia’s head. After Melia made a save, he fell into the goal and got his leg caught in the net, but he was able to wiggle free to smother the rebound.
“No, I don’t practice that at all,” Melia said with a smile.
That kept the match scoreless.
But Nemeth changed that in the 32nd minute.
And Sporting KC never relinquished the equalizer.
“We’re doing a better job of when we have a team on their heels, we’re keeping them there,” defender Kevin Ellis said. “We’re pushing the game and dictating the play. Last year we had that for moments. This year we’re really taking it to teams for the full 90 minutes.”
Sporting Kansas City 2
COLORADO: Clint Irwin, James Riley, Bobby Burling, Joseph Greenspan, Jared Watts, Dillon Serna (Kevin Doyle, 69th), Marcelo Sarvas, Sam Cronin, Lucas Pittinari (Dillon Powers, 73rd), Gabriel Torres (Vicente Sanchez, 74th), Luis Solignac.
KANSAS CITY: Tim Melia, Chance Myers (Amadou Dia, 90th), Marcel De Jong (Saad Abdul-Salaam, 77th), Matt Besler, Kevin Ellis, Graham Zusi, Soni Mustivar, Benny Feilhaber, Roger Espinoza, Dom Dwyer, Krisztian Nemeth (Jacob Peterson, 71st).
Kansas City: 1, Nemeth 7 (Myers, Feilhaber), 32nd. 2, Cronin (own goal), 64th.
Shots on goal
Colorado: Watts, 52nd; Greenspan, 61st; Doyle, 70th
Kansas City: Dwyer, 80th; Abdul-Salaam, 90th+.
Kansas City: None.
Referee: Baldomero Toledo.
Assistant referee: Adam Garner.
Assistant referee: Kyle Atkins.
4th official: Marcos de Oliveira.
Announced attendance: 19,835.