Sporting KC surges into first place
Teal Bunbury scored twice and powered Sporting Kansas City to a 3-0 victory against the Houston Dynamo Saturday at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.
The victory saw surging Sporting KC move into first place in the Eastern Conference. The club was in last place before opening its new stadium in June and has steadily moved up from ninth place to the top of the standings.
The action picked up early in the first half, as Sporting Kansas City created a handful of chances inside of the first 15 minutes. The first came in just the seventh minute of action as Designated Player Omar Bravo latched on to a long pass out of the back from Julio Cesar following Dynamo defender Andre Hainault’s failed attempt to intercept. Bravo tried directing a shot past an onrushing Tally Hall, but the Houston goalkeeper did well to stand up and turn away the breakaway effort.
Sporting Kansas City would go in front just two minutes later through Bunbury, back in the lineup after serving a one-match suspension against the LA Galaxy on Monday. Taking a long, angled pass from midfielder Graham Zusi, Bunbury ranpast Hainault and kept his balance to tuck a right-footed finish past Hall and into the side netting. The goal was Bunbury’s sixth of 2011, setting a career-high for the second year forward thanks to Zusi’s team-leading fifth assist of the season.
Designated Player Jeferson nearly added a second for Sporting Kansas City in the 18th minute. Receiving a pass from a quick free kick taken just inside the Houston half, the Brazilian midfielder burst into space towards the edge of the penalty area and smacked a powerful left-footed shot that flew just wide of the far post beyond an outstretched Hall.
The 1-0 lead stood through halftime.
A red card early in the second half forced Houston to play with 10 players, and Sporting KC capitalized with a goal by Bunbury in the 73rd minute.
C.J. Sapong tacked on a third goal in the 79th minute.
Sporting KC now is 10-8-10 this season and 7-2-5 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.
Sporting Kansas City next plays Saturday at Real Salt Lake.