The Full 90

Sporting KC notebook: Shot-on-goal streak ends

End of a streak

Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman’s 91st-minute free kick Saturday found defender Nat Borchers in the box for a relatively weak header back toward the near post.

It wasn’t a particularly dangerous shot and the assistant referee’s flag was up, which signaled that Borchers was offsides or he saw a foul committed by Real Salt Lake.

The center official Kevin Stott waved off the flag, however, as Sporting KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen smothered the ball to preserve a 1-0 victory.

“Yeah, sloppy defense, huh?” Nielsen said.

Still, that was enough to end the club’s MLS-record streak of 335 minutes without allowing a shot on goal — a streak that dated back three games to Ricardo Villar’s 25th-minute tally March 25.

To put that in context, Sporting KC, which didn’t allow a shot on goal in 1-0 wins against Chivas USA and the Los Angeles Galaxy, had only recorded three games all-time without giving up a shot on goal in the club’s first 16 seasons.

With his fifth shutout of the season, Nielsen moved into a three-way tie for second in Sporting KC history with 22 career shutouts. He joins Kevin Hartman and Bo Oshoniyi. Tony Meola holds the record with 37.

• Defensive midfielder Julio Cesar left in the 55th minute because of a right hamstring strain that could keep him out of Wednesday’s game at Vancouver. Paul Nagamura replaced Cesar.

“I don’t think it’s a very serious pull,” manager Peter Vermes said. “I think it’s a strain, but obviously we’ll evaluate him and then we’ll make a decision.”

• Sporting KC remains the second franchise in MLS history to start a season with six or more consecutive victories.

The Los Angeles Galaxy started the 1996 season 12-0, winning the first eight games in regulation.

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