Kamara’s brace lifts Sporting KC in wild win vs. Crew

KeiKamaraCelebrates1-Crew (USATodaySports)

By DAN KARELL

On a night where Sporting Kansas City looked far from last year’s Eastern Conference regular season champion, it was last season’s top scorer who lifted his team to victory.

Kei Kamara bagged a pair of goals including the game-winner in the second half to lead Sporting KC to a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Crew on Saturday night at Sporting Park. Graham Zusi made his first appearance since returning from national team duty, but it was Kamara who stole the show.

Soony Saad validated his place in the starting XI with a picture-perfect long ball to teammate Kei Kamara in the 34th minute. Kamara’s first touch set himself up inside the box, and the second slammed the ball in for a goal to give Sporting KC the lead.

The floodgates opened at the start of the second half as the usually stout Sporting KC defense conceded twice in five minutes despite scoring one. Crew forward Jairo Arrieta went nearly unchecked for 40 yards on a solo run before finishing past Sporting KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen in the 48th minute.

Just two minutes later, Sporting KC forward Claudio Bieler showed off his finishing skills, scoring on an off-balance shot after a poor clearance attempt from the Crew defense on a cross. Three minutes hence in the 53rd minute, the Crew’s Dominic Oduro used his pace to race onto a slow back pass from Sporting KC defender Seth Sinovic, rounding Nielsen and tying the match once more to make it 2-2.

Following three yellow cards and a number of chippy moments between the two clubs, Sporting KC took the lead for good through Kamara in the 80th minute. Bernardo AƱor of the Crew went down with an injury in the box but the referee waved play on as Sporting KC countered quickly. Kamara was open at the back post as Bieler looked up, and the South American found the African, who made no mistake finishing on a one-on-one opportunity.

In the 82nd minute, forward Dom Dwyer made his season debut for Sporting KC after being recalled from his loan with Orlando City SC. Crew substitute Konrad Warzycha had a chance to tie the match in the dying moments of stoppage-time but his blast on the volley went wide of goal.

Here are the match highlights:

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4 Responses to Kamara’s brace lifts Sporting KC in wild win vs. Crew

  1. Eric says:

    As an SKC fan, I was livid at Mark Geiger for red carding Sapong in the Dallas game, but it appears to have been a blessing in disguise. Saad played terrifically in CJ’s left wing spot, and as far as I’m concerned, Vermes should ride the hot hand and keep starting Soony for however long he stays on form.

    • maverickman874 says:

      Saad looks technically better and more adept than CJ with the ball at his feet. Sapong is big and strong but he sucks at finishing. Glad to see Vermes didn’t go back to Peterson either. Dwyer looks like the far superior athlete.

      • John says:

        Saad is a winger, Sapong is a target forward. Different skill sets, different body types. I understand Vermes wanting to keep Sapongs size and aerial ability on the field, but Vermes wants a one striker formation.

        I like the changes, but can’t help but think that had Sapong not been suspended and Nagamura not being hurt he would have played the same as the last game and struggled to hold possession in midfield and create from the wing.

  2. AzTeXan says:

    Just curious, does SKC have a “Keep on the Soony Saad” chant yet?