Sporting Kansas City stretched the club’s undefeated streak at Sporting Park to nine MLS games, matching the longest home unbeaten start to a regular season in team history, with a 2-0 win over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday in front of the 62nd consecutive sold out crowd.
Krisztian Nemeth scored his team-leading seventh goal of the season as Chance Myers marked his MLS return with a game-winning assist and Benny Feilhaber extended his single-season career high with his ninth assist of the year.
Defensively, Sporting KC earned its eighth clean sheet in 16 matches – most among all MLS teams – and Tim Melia lowered his MLS-leading goals against average to 0.63.
With Saturday’s win, the 250th regular season victory in club history, Sporting KC stretched the team’s unbeaten streak against Colorado to 11 MLS matches (6-0-5) under Peter Vermes dating back to 2009 and 15 straight in the series at home (11-0-4) since 2002.
Myers, who ruptured his Achilles tendon on May 23, 2014, made his first MLS appearance on Saturday since suffering the injury and nearly opened the scoring just five minutes into the match. Feilhaber’s corner kick connected with Myers at the top of the six-yard box but the right-footed volley carried over the crossbar.
It was Myers who played the pivotal pass to set up Nemeth for the game’s opening goal in the 32nd minute with a early cross from the right flank. Nemeth struck a first-time shot with pace from the top of the penalty area to beat Clint Irwin and in doing so, entered the MLS record books as only the second player in league history to score goals on each of his first seven shots on target.
Feilhaber also collected an assist with the penultimate pass in the scoring sequence and now has a goal or an assist in each of the club’s past four MLS matches. The MLS All-Star nominee was again instrumental in the 64th minute when Sporting Kansas City doubled their lead through a Sam Cronin own goal.
Colorado defender Jared Watts conceded a corner under pressure from Roger Espinoza and Feilhaber took care of the rest, playing the set piece short before whipping a dangerous delivery into the box that ended up in the back of the net when it deflected off Cronin at the near post. The rare own goal – the first in Sporting KC’s favor since April 2014 – would send the Rapids to their second 2-0 road loss in a span of four days and a fourth straight scoreless performance away from home.
Melia made two saves on the night with the first needed in the 14th minute. After venturing to the edge of the 18-yard box to punch away a Cronin free kick, Melia raced back to his line to turn away Marcelo Sarvas’ chip attempt in athletic fashion. The second came in the 42nd minute, diving low to his right to hold onto Luis Solignac’s shot from close range.
Sporting Kansas City moves into fourth place in the Western Conference, one point ahead of FC Dallas. The two teams will meet at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 16. A limited number of tickets are available via Ticketmaster.com or by calling 888-4KC-GOAL.
– Story from Sporting KC