Sapong, Collin power Sporting KC past Portland
Sporting Kansas City's unbeaten streak has reached eight games thanks to a 2-1 victory Saturday at Portland.
Striker C.J. Sapong and defender Aurelien Collin scored four minutes apart in the first half to move Sporting Kansas City into a tie for fourth position in the Eastern Conference.
Sapong opened the scoring in the 15th minute after receiving a pass from Omar Bravo and turning Timbers defender Eric Brunner before firing a left-footed shot from the top of the penalty area for his third goal of the year and sixth in all competition. Sapong, the only Sporting Kansas City player to appear in every MLS match this season, now has nine points in his rookie campaign after being selected in the first round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft.
Bravo recorded an assist for his second straight match after the designated player converted a penalty kick and provided the game-winning assist in KC's 2-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps FC last week.
Sporting Kansas City then doubled their lead in the 19th minute courtesy of Collin. Having nearly scored on a free kick from Graham Zusi in the eighth minute, Collin again made the most of a set piece as Sapong flicked Matt Besler's long-range throw-in to the backpost where the Frenchman was waiting to place his header past Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins and inside the post.
Collin's second game-winning goal of the season — and third in all competition — also earned Besler his first career aassist and Sapong his third of the season.
Portland responded just before halftime as Darlington Nagbe stunned Sporting Kansas City in the 45th minute with his first MLS goal.
Sporting KC is now 4-6-5 this season.