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Sporting Kansas City Falls to Portland Timbers, Unbeaten Run Ends at 7

Alan Hainkel@@fntncitysoccerContributor IApril 22, 2012

PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 21: Kei Kamara #23 of the Sporting KC and C.J. Sapong #17 of the Sporting KC have some words with referee Hilario Grajeda during the first half of the game at Jeld-Wen Field on April 21, 2012 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

A Chance Myers own goal was all the offense the Portland Timbers needed to knock off Sporting Kansas City 1-0 in Portland on Saturday night. It was Sporting KC's first loss of 2012 and Portland's first home win of the season.

Portland also snapped a four-match losing streak to move to 2-4-1 on the season.

Portland made the most of its domination of possession early. The Timbers earned a corner in the fourth minute. Former Kansas City midfielder Jack Jewsbury took the corner, but the whistle was blown for a foul. Referee Hilario Grajeda called Eric Brunner for a high boot on Kei Kamara.

Sporting KC's first opportunity came five minutes later. Forward C.J. Sapong took the ball down to the endline in the Portland penalty area. Sapong found Kamara near the penalty spot, but Kamara's shot was stopped by Troy Perkins.

The next dangerous chance for Sporting KC came in the 22nd minute. Following a yellow card to Timbers defender Steve Purdy for a foul on Roger Espinoza, Graham Zusi's free kick forced a save from Perkins, tipping it over the bar.

On the ensuing corner kick, Bobby Convey's attempt was gathered by Perkins and when Perkins went to throw the ball out, the whistle was blown. Grajeda tried to say Perkins could not make the throw because either Kamara or Sapong were in his way. Replays showed the ball came off of Portland's Hanyer Mosquera.

Had the whistle not been blown, Sapong would have had a good chance to score.

That lack of a chance would come back to bite Sporting KC approximately 20 minutes later.

PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 21: Kris Boyd #9 of the Portland Timbers heads the ball as Matt Bessler #5 of the Sporting KC closes in during the first half of the game at Jeld-Wen Field on April 21, 2012 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Portland forward Kris Boyd got in behind the Sporting KC defense and as he neared the penalty area, he put in what could be considered a poor cross, considering no Timbers players were anywhere near it.

However, Myers and midfielder Julio Cesar were there. A lack of communication between the two led to them colliding as Myers headed the ball into the back of the net. Coming so close to halftime, it was a hard blow to take and led to Sporting KC's first halftime deficit.

To be fair, it cannot have been easy to hear on that end of the field, that close to the Timbers Army supporters section.

Two minutes after the restart, Portland almost doubled its lead. Diego Chara put a through ball in to Boyd who tapped it on net, but Jimmy Nielsen would make a sliding save.

Sporting KC would enjoy better possession in the second half and almost lived in Portland's half of the field for the last 15 minutes of the game. That effort almost paid off with an equalizer in the 90th minute.

A long throw-in from Matt Besler went through the hands of Perkins as he and Sporting KC sub Teal Bunbury made a play for the ball. Mosquera cleared it off the line and Perkins was able to cover up as Aurelien Collin attempted to poke the ball into the net.

After three matches in eight days, Sporting KC will have two weeks until their next game. They will host the expansion Montreal Impact at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on Saturday, May 5th at 7:30 p.m. CDT. The game will mark the return of longtime Kansas City midfielder Davy Arnaud, traded to Montreal to reacquire defender Seth Sinovic. Sinovic had been selected by Montreal in the expansion draft days earlier.

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