Sporting Kansas City Punishes 10-Man New England Revolution with 3-0 Win

Alan Hainkel@@fntncitysoccerContributor IMarch 18, 2012

Graham Zusi (l) and Aurelien Collin celebrate v. New England
Graham Zusi (l) and Aurelien Collin celebrate v. New EnglandEd Zurga/Getty Images

KANSAS CITY, KS — Taking advantage of an early red card, Sporting Kansas City dominated the New England Revolution in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 19,777 fans at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.

The first truly dangerous chance for Sporting came in the eighth minute when Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis came about 25 yards out from his net to play a ball and appeared to foul C.J. Sapong. Play was allowed to continue and Roger Espinoza put a looping shot off the post.

Two minutes later, Sapong was taken down near the top of the box, but the ensuing free kick was deflected wide for a corner.

Defender Stephen McCarthy was sent off in the 14th minute. McCarthy was cited for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity as the last man back when Sapong was on a breakaway. McCarthy was pulling on Sapong's shirt for about 10 yards before referee Silviu Petrescu whistled the foul and reached directly for the red card.

The dam was broken in the 28th minute. Seth Sinovic sent a cross into the box that was headed away by Shalrie Joseph. The ball came down to Kei Kamara in the penalty area and he tried putting the ball on target. In the middle of a pile in front of the goal, midfielder Graham Zusi got a foot on it and put it in the net for his first goal of the season..

Kamara doubled the Sporting's lead in the 39th minute. Sinovic again put a cross in front that was deflected out to Kamara. His initial shot was saved by Reis, but Kamara was able to put in the rebound. The goal was Kamara's first of the 2012 season.

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Two minutes after the restart, Sapong increased the lead to 3-0. Zusi fed a ball forward for Sinovic in the penalty area. Sinovic found Sapong, who slotted the ball in past Reis. The 2011 MLS Rookie of the Year how has two goals on the young season.

How dominant was Sporting KC in this match? While taking into account they spent 75 minutes a man up, their possession percentage went up in the second half, from 62.4 percent to 68.3 percent. Their passing accuracy also increased from the first to second half, 84.7 percent to 86.9 percent. They also completed almost twice as many total passes as New England, an almost Barcelona-like 647 passes to 328 for the visitors.

With the win, Sporting KC tops the Eastern Conference with six points and will host FC Dallas on Sunday, March 25th at 6 p.m. CT. New England will return home to face the Portland Timbers on Saturday, March 24th at 4 p.m. ET.