By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1
Despite coming off a hot win over the Seattle Sounders this past weekend, Sporting Kansas City fell to the LA Galaxy in a dismal 2-0 loss at Children’s Mercy Park.
The midweek fixture was a chance to regain a rhythm and some points. But as the script goes, Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s goal and assist and missed chances for the home side would help lead the Galaxy to victory – the first time they have won at CMP since 2007.
Navigating a stressful three-game week, Peter Vermes was able to fill a bench to capacity for the first time as the injury list continues to shrink. And Jimmy Medranda was removed from the list completely.
A rested center back Andreu Fontas, a former teammate of Zlatan, stepped in for the captain – who started on the bench. Johnny Russell was back after his heroic hat-trick and Fontas returned to the starting XI.
Their only real challenge was missing Krisztian Nemeth again since the league added an extra suspension for the Hungarian on Monday.
So what went wrong?
“I think we missed too many really good chances in the game,” Peter Vermes told the press.
Both sides kicked off the match with sloppy plays, incomplete passes, and misdirection of the ball. Fortunately, the home side soon regained solid possession around the 10th minute.
Tim Melia was called into action in the 24th minute, when the keeper made a diving save after Dave Romney connected powerfully with Sebastian Lletget’s header and smothered the ball amidst a crowded box to keep the game scoreless.
Gutierrez and Rowe nearly combined for the breakthrough just before the half, but David Bingham raced off his line and swiped the ball away for a corner kick that he later defended successfully.
Sporting were then prompted to make a halftime substitution as Besler replaced Botond Barath, who exited with tightness in his leg. No updates on his condition are known yet.
Ten minutes after the restart, Perry Kitchen sent a long pass to Zlatan at the far post, who directed the ball to Favio Alvarez – with the nice finish as he found a pocket of space and tucked away the goal.
Melia came up huge to deny Zlatan in a 1v1 situation in the 69th minute.
Zlatan, who just returned from a two-game suspension, got his revenge from the 1v1 standoff in the 86th minute and scored the game-winner for the visitors late into the second half.
The remainder of the match saw Sporting KC desperately trying to score a goal. Including a chance from the pair of Graham Zusi and Daniel Salloi. But Bingham kept punching them away to preserve the Galaxy’s 2-0 win.
Sporting KC will start a pivotal four-game road streak as they travel to Houston to face the Houston Dynamos on Saturday, June 1.
Featured image: Jimmy Medranda on Instagram @jimao7
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