KANSAS CITY, Kan. – In four of Seattle’s eight all-time meetings with Kansas City, Sounders FC has scored a stoppage-time winner.
On Wednesday night at Sporting Park, Djimi Traore rekindled the magic of Mike Fucito, Jeff Parke and Lamar Neagle with a goal four minutes into second-half stoppage time to lift the Sounders to a 1-0 win, extending their unbeaten streak to four straight matches and finishing off their stretch of three consecutive road matches with a 2-0-1 record.
“We’ve always had good success in this building,” said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. “We’re happy to get the win because we needed the points. We’ve played well, and today we finally got some luck.”
With the match already beyond the three minutes of stoppage time indicated by the fourth official, Zach Scott bounced a throw into the box from the right side. Making a run from the near post, Brad Evans flicked the ball to Traore at the edge of the six-yard box, touching it to his right foot to blast it into the net for his first MLS goal.
“It was the last minute and I was happy to contribute,” Traore said. “I was surprised to receive the ball in that area, but I just did my best. To score at that time is very important for us. It’s great for showing our character and it was a fun match to play.”
The goal concluded a match that seemed destined for a scoreless draw, but the two halves were played much differently. In the first half, both teams created scoring chances, with Kansas City taking 10 shots and Seattle taking five shots.
Michael Gspurning finished the match with three saves for his third shutout of the season as the Sounders improved to 2-3-3 on the season, going unbeaten at 2-0-2 in their last four MLS matches.
Jacob Peterson got the game’s first shot just 17 seconds into the match, winning the ball on the left side and firing a shot that Gspurning saved diving to his left.
Seattle had a pair of shots in the eighth minute, the first from Evans being blocked and the second missing high when Mario Martinez shot from 23-yards out off the rebound.
In the 14th minute looked to open scoring, but Peterson Joseph missed just outside the far post when he charged on a Seattle clearance attempt.
Evans then got on the end of a Martinez free kick in the 20th minute but missed high with his header.
Martinez nearly made it 1-0 in the 28th minute when he thumped a free kick around the wall from 27-yards out on the right side but Jimmy Nielsen dove to his right for the save to keep the match scoreless.
In the 43rd minute, Chance Myers played in a shot from the top right corner for the box, but Gspurning was there to smother it for the save, his third of the half.
During the second half, the teams were weighted down by a short turnaround after limited rest since their last games – a 2-2 road draw on Saturday against the Philadelphia Union for the Sounders and a 4-0 home win over Chivas USA for SKC. That left a lot of play in the midfield and the teams combined for just five shots. The only one put on frame came off the foot of Traore in the 94th minute.
“It’s important for our team,” Schmid said of the win. “We have eight points over our last four games, so we’re averaging two points a game, which is what we need to do to put ourselves back in the running. Now we’ve got a big Western Conference game, and we want to get points at home. Our fans see that we’re fighting and clawing to get back to being the team we’ve been over the last four years.”
The Sounders will have a quick turnaround, taking on the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday at 1 pm PT, their first home match since hosting the New England Revolution on April 13.
Sounders FC – Djimi Traore 94+.
Sporting KC – None.
Sounders FC – Marcus Hahnemann (ejection) 24.
Sporting KC – Ike Opara (caution) 45; Aurelien Collin (caution) 91+.
Sounders FC – Michael Gspurning, Zach Scott, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Djimi Traore, Leo Gonzalez, Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Servando Carrasco, Mario Martinez (Alex Caskey 94+), Eddie Johnson, David Estrada (Mauro Rosales 85).
Sporting KC – Jimmy Nielsen, Chance Myers, Ike Opara, Aurelien Collin, Josh Gardner (Seth Sinovic 75), Uri Rosell, Benny Feilhaber (Claudio Bieler 65), Peterson Joseph, Graham Zusi, CJ Sapong, Jacob Peterson (Kei Kamara 73).
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