Sporting Kansas City succumbed to the Colorado Rapids’ second-half rally in a 2-1 loss at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday.
Dom Dwyer scored his team-leading ninth goal of the season in the 47th minute but Vicente Sanchez set up Maynor Figueroa and Kevin Doyle to secure Colorado’s first win over Sporting KC since 2009, snapping a 13-game winless streak in the series.
A scoreless first half saw each side held to a single shot on goal. Tim Melia dove low to turn away Axel Sjoberg’s header in the fifth minute off a corner kick from Sanchez. On the opposite end, Dwyer’s header was on target but safely into the arms of Clint Irwin in the 44th minute.
However, the match came to life moments into the second half when Sporting Kansas City struck first for the 1-0 lead. Krisztian Nemeth and Benny Feilhaber combined for a give-and-go as the Hungarian international cut inside the penalty area and slid a pass into the path of Dwyer for an emphatic finish from 10 yards out.
The lead would last only six minutes as the Rapids responded with the game-tying goal in the 53rd minute. Sanchez acted as the playmaker, working his way into the 18-yard box and picking out Figueroa with space on the far side.
An eight-year veteran of the English Premier League who joined Colorado earlier this month, Figueroa took a touch to tee up a left-footed shot that deflected off Graham Zusi en route to the top corner of the net.
Colorado has scored 11 of its 25 regular season goals in 2015 in the final 15 minutes of matches and that trend held true on Saturday as Doyle delivered the dagger in the 76th minute. Sanchez’s cross from the endline was headed home by the Irish international for the fourth goal in his debut MLS season, all of which have proven to be game-winners, and second in as many matches.
Sporting Kansas City, amid a four-game road trip and playing the team’s seventh game in the month of August, nearly rescued a result in front of approximately 1,000 traveling supporters.
Colorado failed to clear a cross from second-half substitute Jacob Peterson in the 87th minute and Dwyer was inches from capitalizing. The Englishman’s initial effort was turned away at close range by Irwin, who then recovered to push the follow-up attempt into the post with a second save in short succession.
After going unbeaten in 11 MLS matches (8-0-3) when scoring first to start the season, Sporting KC dropped their second straight decision despite taking a 1-0 lead away from home. The team’s third consecutive loss slips Sporting Kansas City into fourth place in the West with nine games remaining in the regular season, while Colorado claimed a third straight victory to move out of the conference cellar.
Missing five players due to injury – along with Chance Myers’ early exit on Saturday – Sporting Kansas City will now have 10 days off before resuming MLS action in Portland on Sept. 9.
At least three Sporting KC players (Nemeth, Marcel de Jong and Erik Palmer-Brown) will depart for international duty during the upcoming FIFA fixture window, with the U.S. Men’s National Team roster yet to be announced.
– Story from Sporting KC