Sporting Kansas City’s superiority was on display as the Eastern Conference leaders hammered Toronto FC 4-1. The reigning MLS champions controlled most of the game by pressing high up the pitch and making Toronto’s best players uncomfortable on the ball.
Dom Dwyer scored two goals from the penalty spot in the first half, Soony Saad scored an absolute screamer and CJ Sapong capped off a fantastic night at Sporting Park. Gilberto scored Toronto’s lone goal.
The visitors had the game’s first decent chance when Colin Warner played delightful long ball over Sporting KC’s backline. Gilberto ran the ball down and picked out the perfect ball for Dominic Oduro. The former Columbus Crew sharp-shooter had both the time and space to beat Jon Kempin, but he mistimed his kick and failed to make contact with the ball.
With a quarter of an hour gone, Justin Morrow made one of the best defensive plays of the season. A bad clearance by Joe Bendik caught Toronto’s defense off-guard and the ball eventually made its way to a wide open Dwyer. Miraculously, Morrow made up the ground between him and the forward and made a fantastic sliding tackle, pushing the ball out of play.
The ensuing corner kick led to Sporting’s first goal. Again, TFC failed to deal with the initial cross and Benny Feilhaber was brought down inside the box. Dwyer stepped up to the spot and rifled in his 15th goal of the season.
Bendik put his previous mistake behind and made a marvelous save to prevent Aurelien Collin’s header from creeping into the back of the net.
Two minutes past the half hour mark, Doneil Henry’s rash challenge on Dwyer gave Sporting their second spot kick of the game. Dwyer was the man who stepped up and he made no mistake, again.
In the dying minutes of the first period, Michael Bradley was inches away from pulling one back for Toronto. The American’s free kick from around 20 yards out took a deflection and went into the side of the net.
In the first minute of stoppage time, Gilberto reduced Toronto’s goal deficit to one goal. The Brazilian was expertly picked out by Oduro and he slipped the ball under the goalkeeper with a sublime flick.
Early in the second half, Kempin made a fantastic save to deny Giberto his second goal of the season. The Brazilian accelerated past Igor Juliao — in Gareth Bale-esque fashion — but he couldn’t beat the young ‘keeper.
Toronto’s inability to deal with set pieces led to another Sporting KC goal. With over an hour gone, an ineffective clearance fell right to Saad. The Lebanese international brilliant first touch set him up for a delicious cracker from outside the box.
Toronto players combined sublime ball movement with great individual skill to send Jackson in on goal with only the goalkeeper to beat. The Brazilian easily rounded the ‘keeper, but took too long to get his shot off, allowing Collin to track back and make a great tackle.
Substitute Sapong secured the three points with the easiest of tap-ins. Graham Zusi’s low corner kick was flicked on by Saad at the near post and Sapong stuck out his right leg to score Sporting KC’s fourth of the game.
The only positive thing Toronto fans can take away from the game was the return of center forward Bright Dike.