Sporting KC offense misfires in 2-2 draw against Toronto

Midfielder Ilie Sanchez scored on a penalty kick in the 57th minute. (Photo copyright 2018 by Brian Turrel)

by Brian Turrel

Several near-misses cost Sporting Kansas City a chance at victory on Saturday night, settling for a 2-2 draw at home against Toronto FC.

With his lineup depleted by injuries and suspensions, head coach Peter Vermes still praised the team’s effort.

“To be able to be leading the game 2 – 1 and create the kind of chances that we did, and have the hunger to try and score like we did, I say it again, I’m very proud of the team.”

Sporting KC controlled the start of the game, with two shots in the first 10 minutes that nearly found the net. Toronto stabilized and then was able to take the lead midway through the first half on a goal by midfielder Jonathan Osorio.

Kansas City struck back early in the second half when Gerso Fernandes was taken down near the Toronto goal, handing Ilie Sanchez a penalty kick opportunity that he knocked cleanly past the goalkeeper.

Kansas City moved ahead in the 61st minute when Diego Rubio found Johnny Russell in the middle of the field near the 18-yard line.

Sporting KC gave up the equalizer in the 69th minute to Toronto forward Jordan Hamilton. Although they continued to press in the late minutes of the game, Sporting KC wasn’t able to convert, with more near misses taking their toll.

Said Johnny Russell, “You know, we’ve hit the crossbar with a couple of them, headers I’ve just missed and a few shots I’ve just missed as well. So on another night you know we score two, three more goals. But tonight wasn’t our night in that sense.”

Sporting Kansas City plays on the road against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, July 14. Their next home game is July 28 against MLS Western Conference leader FC Dallas.

Officer Dustin Dierenfeldt of the Kansas City, Kansas, police department performed the national anthem. Color guards from the police department and the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s office presented the colors. (Photo copyright 2018 by Brian Turrel)
Johnny Russell knocked in a shot from the edge of the penalty area in the 61st minute. (Photo copyright 2018 by Brian Turrel)
Many area police and fire departments had equipment on display before the game. (Photo copyright 2018 by Brian Turrel)
Forward Johnny Russell was upset at just missing a header on goal early in the game. (Photo copyright 2018 by Brian Turrel)
Forward Gerso Fernandes was taken to the ground on this play, earning Sporting KC a penalty kick. (Photo copyright 2018 by Brian Turrel)
Johnny Russell played the ball into the center, pursued by Toronto defender Justin Morrow (2). (Photo copyright 2018 by Brian Turrel)
Defender Graham Zusi played the ball up the right sideline as head coach Peter Vermes implored the team to move forward in support. (Photo copyright 2018 by Brian Turrel)
Midfielder Ilie Sanchez hopped the wall surrounding the field in order to thank a supporter in the stands after the game. (Photo copyright 2018 by Brian Turrel)
Johnny Russell played a volley on goal but his shot was over the goal. (Photo copyright 2018 by Brian Turrel)

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