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Sporting KC Dismantle the Portland Timbers

Video highlights of all five goals in a demolishing laid down by Sporting Kansas City at home against the Portland Timbers.



Alan Pulido | Credit: Thad Bell

Sporting Kansas City returned home to face the Portland Timbers in the first of four out of the next five games being in Children’s Mercy Park. They would be shorthanded, but not the players we were anticipating. Johnny Russell pulled his hamstring in practice and Remi Walter was out with back spasms. The questionable starters, Alan Pulido, Dany Roser and Logan Ndenbe, were all in the starting lineup. Kendall McIntosh stayed in net and Jake Davis was back in at right back as well.

The Portland Timbers, who are pretty banged up, had a lot of their guys, but many of them started the match on the bench.

First Half

The game’s first shot would come from Daniel Salloi who had an effort from the edge of the 18-yard-box goes just high and wide of the net. Despite controlling much of the opening minutes of the game, it was Portland who would score first after a series of long throws. A ball pinged around a bit after a throw and Franck Boli slotted it home to make it 1-0 in the eighth minute. The long throw is such a weapon and Sporting KC haven’t used it since Matt Besler left the team.

Moments later, the Timbers would have a handlball just outside their own box which is a yellow card every day of the week, except today. The ref simply played advantage, and nothing came of it. He’s got to go back and give the yellow.

The lack of yellows continued with Jake Davis taking a knee to the chest in the 18th minute from Claudio Bravo and he just received a warning. At least a foul was given, but nothing came of the free kick. From here, Sporting KC were in completely control of the game nearing 80 percent possession at one point. In the 29th minute, another hard Portland challenge came in as Cristhian Paredes chopped down Salloi, but Rubiel Vazquez once again kept his cards in his pocket.

The control continued until the 33rd minute when Erik Thommy absolutely ripped a rocket into the side netting with his left foot after dribbling several defenders. Marinos Tzionis gets credit for the assist but Thommy did all the work.

In the 40th minute, Pulido looked to be on the break, but a bad touch allowed the defender to get to him, only to knock him from behind but no foul was given. Moments, later, still in the same minute another counter is played to Pulido but he let up on his run before going again and the keeper, Ivacic, beat him to it. In the 42nd another counter was coming but Erik Thommy passed just a hair too soon and it clipped the defender out for a corner. The corner would lead to an apparent goal when a lofted ball was clipped on by Tzionis, off the keeper for Salloi to clean it up.

However, it would be taken away for a foul from Dany Rosero on the initial corner.

It would go into the half tied at one.

Second Half

At the half Graham Zusi came on for an effective Jake Davis. Quickly after Fontas would find himself as the first player to go in the book for grabbing at Boli. The free kicked would be dealt with and SKC had a great counter opportunity, but Salloi bundled the five on two advantage with a bad pass that led to a turnover.

Yimmi Chara would also come on at the half but would be subbed right back off in the 54th minute. Shortly after there were shouts for a handball in the box on Portland, but after a long review, play resumes.

In the 61st minute, Sporting KC created another promising chance with a little give and go from Salloi and Pulido, but a strong kick save kept the ball out of the net. Immediately after in the 62nd minute, Roger Espinoza and Tim Leibold entered the game, replacing Kinda and Ndenbe respectively.

There was a scary moment where Portland had a handball on the edge of their box (again) that wasn’t called and they sprung a counter, but it was snuffed out. Immediately after, KC came back the other way when Leibold hit a cross field switch deep into the corner to fellow fullback Graham Zusi who calmly played it across the box to Salloi who slotted it home to put Sporting KC up 2-1.

Sporting KC didn’t waste any time finding a third. After an interception in the midfield, Roger Espinoza was played the ball and he turns and hits the switch into space for Daniel Salloi who found Alan Pulido. Pulido would round the keeper and get cleaned out from behind in what ultimately turned into an own goal for Larrys Mabiala. Either way, Sporting were about to score. 3-1 SKC.

In the 76th minute, Sporting would go for another double sub, exhausting all five earlier than usual. Felipe Hernandez replaced Thommy and Khiry Shelton replaced Pulido (technically in the 77th since it took a bit). Since this article is weirdly about complaining about refs, Shelton was called for three fouls in rapid succession where it looked like he was being fouled. Then, when he does commit a foul (technically his fourth, but should have been his first), he’s immediately in the book for a yellow. He did stop a bit of a counter, so I’m not saying it’s a bad call, but the others were from my press box angle.

In the 90th minute Sporting KC looked primed to score again on a ball over the top to Tzionis but his cross was high and wide of Shelton who would have had a tap in as he had beaten his defender. In the 92nd, Leibold tried to get one of his own with an intrepid run into the box which forced a save, but no one followed it in, and it was cleared.

Sporting KC continued to go for the jugular though, as Roger Espinoza played a delightful through ball to the hard charging Felipe Hernandez who calmly passed the ball into the back of the net. 4-1 Sporting KC.

Sporting KC would close it out. They’ll be back at home on Wednesday on short rest as they host FC Dallas.

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