Just one week after a stellar performance and great win over the Philadelphia Union, Sporting KC traveled to Toronto to take on Toronto F.C. The game was played at the Rogers Center and was the home opener for Toronto. The game was a tough one for Sporting in many ways but there were still positives taken from this loss. The pitch at the Rogers Center was rough at spots and the ball failed to bounce like the normal outdoor pitch would. Also, Sporting managed to come away with a goal even after some tough defense from TFC. Finally, Sporting was able to continue their growth and see where work is needed. Possibly the biggest deciding factor in this game was once again the defense. The defense allowed two goals in the first 20 minutes of play.
“I thought Toronto came out flying. It was their home opener, the crowd was good for them. They pushed the game and they made the most of their opportunities. We made a big mistake early on to get them into the game that gave them some confidence. Getting the second goal early on put us behind the eight ball pretty early. Two goals is a big deficit to come back from,” said Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes. “I thought they closed the half out well. They slowed the game down and didn’t give us much to get into the rhythm or anything. The second half I thought our guys did a very good job of changing the pace of the game and pushing the tempo a little bit. We created quite a few opportunities, maybe a little unlucky here or there, but at the end of the day they did well in the first half we did well in the second half. They got two and we got one. It was a good one.”
Toronto F.C kicked off the first half and just 3 minutes later, they scored. The goal came after a missed play by Matt Besler, TFC foward. Robert Earnshaw stole the ball and scored hitting the bottom left corner of the goal. At the 20 minute mark, Toronto FC, John Bostock created an opportunity but was tripped up by Aurelien Collin. TFC was awarded a penalty shot that was kicked and scored by Robert Earnshaw. TFC created another stellar chance, 31 minutes in, but failed to score after Reggie Lambe shot just wide of the net.
With TFC leading 2-0 starting the second half, Sporting KC desperately needed to score to remain in the game. In the 60th minute, Sporting KC had their first great chance to score when CJ Sapong headed a ball that just hit the top of the cross bar. Sporting KC finally got on the board, in the 77th minute, when Claudio Bieler scored after a great set-up from CJ Sapong. After the goal, Bieler rushed the ball back to the face-off circle and the game continued. Ten minutes later, Bieler created another great opportunity hitting a shot just 20 feet away from the goal. The shot failed to go in as it was blocked by, TFC Goalie, Joe Bendik. After six minutes in extra time, the final whistle was blown and Toronto FC came out winning 2-1.