Sporting Kansas City needed just a point to secure first place in the Eastern Conference on Wednesday night, but after turning in a below-par performance against the New York Red Bulls last weekend, the East leaders needed a strong outing to give them some momentum heading into the playoffs.
C.J. Sapong helped end Sporting’s regular season in style, notching a second-half game-winning goal to help give Sporting KC a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union at LiveStrong Sporting Park.
The win secured the No. 1 seed for KC, which will now have ten days to rest and recover before making their run at the MLS Cup Final.
The visiting Union gave Sporting KC trouble, particularly in the second half as the mobility of Jack McInerney and second-half substitute Antoine Hoppenot caused problems for the home side. Hoppenot pounced on a saved penalty kick to give the Union hope with a 53rd-minute equalizer, but Sapong secured all three points when he raced onto a Kei Kamara pass in the 83rd minute.
Kamara orchestrated both Sporting KC goals on the night, including the perfect cross to Jacob Peterson for the game’s opening goal in the 40th minute. Graham Zusi nearly gave Sporting a two-goal lead just before halftime only to have Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath keep the Union close with a pair of quality saves to deny the U.S. national team midfielder.
The Union played without Freddy Adu, who did not make the trip to Kansas City for undisclosed reasons (Coach’s decision was the official explanation for the playmaker’s absence).
Philadelphia will close out the season on Saturday at PPL Park against the New York Red Bulls.
Here are the match highlights:
What did you think of the match? Impressed with the Union’s second-half rally? See Sporting KC as the clear-cut favorite to be the East’s representative in the MLS Cup Final?
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