Sporting Kansas City have notched their first win in three MLS matches with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Chivas USA.
The win took Sporting to second in the Eastern Conference thanks to a brace from Claudio Bieler, plus goals from Graham Zusi and Charles Sapong as Chivas played the majority of the second half with 10 men.
Kansas City had lost their previous two matches but started promisingly in front of their home crowd on Sunday, although they seemed out of luck in the opening stages.
Zusi put the ball in the back of the net in the 14th minute but was ruled offside, while Bieler had an on-target shot headed away by a Chivas defender soon after.
But in the 41st minute, Sporting took a deserved lead after they won possession in their attacking half and Zusi set up Bieler, who side-stepped Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy to score.
Zusi and Paulo Nagamura combined in the 54th minute to set up Sporting’s next goal with the latter brought down by Kennedy in the box to give away a penalty.
Kennedy was shown a straight red card for denying Nagamura a goal-scoring opportunity and Bieler stepped up to convert the penalty.
Bieler was denied a hat-trick just after the hour-mark following a quickly taken free-kick as Zusi was offside but Sporting made it 3-0 four minutes later when the latter poked Josh Gardner’s cross past Chivas’ replacement goalkeeper Patrick McLain.
Sporting’s fourth goal came three minutes before stoppage time through a first-time finish from Sapong following Mechack Jerome’s right-wing cross, wrapping up the victory.
They are behind the New York Red Bulls on goals scored, with the Houston Dynamo and the Montreal Impact third and fourth respectively.
In Sunday’s other MLS match, the Dynamo triumphed 1-0 away to reigning champions Los Angeles Galaxy.
Houston winger Andrew Driver scored the decisive goal in LA, thumping home Giles Barnes’ cut-back in the 56th minute.
Barnes did well to pick up a long ball out of Dynamo’s defence, holding off Galaxy’s Omar Gonzalez before sending the ball into a vacant area at the top of the box.
Driver timed his run brilliantly, unleashing a low drive into the bottom corner of Carlo Cudicini’s net.
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