Sporting Kansas City defeated the Houston Dynamo 3-2 on Saturday night at Children's Mercy Park. 20,081 fans saw the club overcome a 2-0 halftime deficit for the win that put Sporting in sole possession of first place in the Western Conference. Thoughts inspired by the victory...
I think it would be fair to say one of the most relieved players on the field at the end of the match was probably Ike Opara. One of his first half mistakes led directly to Houston's first goal.
Now, Ike wasn't the only player that didn't play well in the opening 45 minutes. When asked in the post-game press conference whether he was surprised by the performance. He said he was more angry than anything else, and I can't say that I blame him. It was probably one of the worst performances of the season in a half, but they battled through it.
When he was asked when he knew they'd they'd turned a corner for their performance in the second half, Vermes said after he got done talking at halftime. Peter knows what to say and when to get these guys to do what needs to be done.
With Khiry Shelton's goal in the 88th minute, the club set a new team record with eight goals off the bench this season. If you include the Open Cup, it's nine across all competitions.
Two things that make that number scary. The team still has half of the season left. 17 games in, 17 games left and they've already set a new team record for goals from the bench. Peter has been pushing the right buttons to put the right players in the right spots.
The other thing that makes this scary? Felipe Gutierrez hasn't played in almost two months. Jimmy Medranda has been injured. There is serious firepower currently unavailable that will make this team that much more dangerous.
For all the negative things Peter had to say about the club's performance in the first half, they still managed to have a majority of the possession in the first half, winning that battle 57.8 percent to 42.2 percent. In the second half, that margin was increased to 66.2-33.8.
There are a couple of reasons for that increase. While Sporting completed almost exactly the same number of passes in each half (220 in the first half, 223 in the second), their passing accuracy went up from one half to the other. In the first half, Sporting completed 75.9 percent of their passes, but 85.2 percent in the second half. Houston's passing accuracy went down, from 78.0 percent in the first half to 65.8 in the second.
Sporting KC's next home match is July 7th against Toronto. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.
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