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MLS Review: Sporting KC end Chicago streak, Martins brace furthers NYC pain

Frustrations boiled over for both of Sunday’s losers in MLS, as Sporting Kansas City edged Chicago Fire while Seattle Sounders won at New York City.

Sporting KC ended Chicago’s winning streak at three games, posting a 1-0 home win on the back of Paulo Nagamura’s 75th-minute goal.

Guly took a touch on his right and fired a shot on target with his left in the 13th minute, as Chicago had the better of the early chances.

Sporting KC goalkeeper Timothy Melia was on hand to deny the Brazilian, and was called into action four minutes later when a powerful header from Eric Gehrig forced him to parry before he collected to clear the danger.

Dom Dwyer should have put away a point-blank header just past the half-hour mark for the Kansas hosts, but put it high.

Two minutes later, another Sporting header – this time by Kevin Ellis – somehow came back off the underside of the crossbar and away to safety.

However, it would be third-time lucky – header-wise – for Peter Vermes’ men, as substitute Nagamura nodded in a cross in from the right from Jalil Anibaba to split the two teams.

Fire’s chances of reeling in the deficit late were reduced when forward David Accam was dismissed for lashing out at Anibaba, with the sideline assistant advising central referee Jose Rivero to send off the Ghanaian.

In New York, Obafemi Martins struck twice and Clint Dempsey once as Sounders claimed a 3-1 win at City.

Martins found acres of space behind the New York defence to slot home the opener on his left foot in the 23rd minute, running onto a ball through from Marco Pappa to net past a hapless Josh Saunders.

Mehdi Ballouchy curled home a left-foot strike into the top left corner to equalise for New York City, completing a counter-attacking move in the 54th minute.

Dempsey tucked away a clever finish into the bottom-right corner, the shot evading a diving Saunders in the 58th minute – and the popular American striker teed up Martins to make it 3-1 eight minutes later.

A sublime backheel from Dempsey released Martins, who stormed into the penalty area and finished convincingly on his left foot.

Kwame Watson-Siriboe picked up a second yellow card in the dying stages, as City finished with 10 men.

Martins and Dempsey both have four goals this season, with their joy helping Seattle to a third straight win and third place (16 points) in the Western Conference – three clear of Sporting KC.

Fire’s loss left them on nine points and in sixth spot in the Eastern Conference, while New York City’s third straight defeat sees them remain on six points in eighth.

Mon 4 May, 2015
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