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Sporting KC win, West leaders stumble

Sporting KC extended their lead atop the MLS Eastern Conference on Saturday, but the top two teams in the West were both beaten.

Sporting defeated Toronto 1-0, with the only goal of the game coming rom Kei Kamara with less than 10 minutes remaining.

Graham Zusi shifted a free kick a few feet to the right, and Kamara blasted it into a congested box where it took a deflection and slipped past Milos Kocic to secure three road points for Kansas City.

The win moved Sporting five points clear of New York Red Bulls on top of the Eastern Conference, but the Red Bulls can close the gap when they play Portland on Sunday.

The pacesetters in the West were not as fortunate, with leaders the San Jose Earthquakes going down 3-1 to the Montreal Impact in a fiery affair that saw three red cards.

Twenty minutes in, San Jose’s Steven Lenhart and Hassoun Camara bumped in the box. Camara reached around and chopped Lenhart’s neck, and both players came together, Camara’s finger wagging in Lenhart’s face as the ‘Quakes forward held his arms aloft to plead innocence.

Referee Armando Villarreal sent off both players and awarded San Jose a penalty.

Chris Wondolowski buried the spot kick for his league-leading 18th goal of the year.

Within five minutes, Montreal equalised. Felipe Martins took down a cross-field ball delicately, slipping past his marker, and slid the ball across the goal line. Marco Di Vaio was waiting to tap it in.

Midway through the second half, the Impact went ahead. Patrice Bernier showed some quick footwork to keep the ball at the top of the box. Lamar Neagle stepped up and thundered the ball past Jon Busch from distance.

With 20 minutes left to play, Di Vaio motored in front of Jason Hernandez, who took him down from behind in the box. The referee produced another red and another penalty, which Bernier scored to seal the win.

Second-placed Real Salt Lake could not take advantage of the slip-up when they were beaten 2-1 at home by FC Dallas.

Dallas silenced the home fans at Rio Tinto Stadium when they took the lead just after the hour mark through Fabian Castillo, but the home side levelled through Alvaro Saborio 10 minutes later.

The visitors responded, though, and David Ferreira scored the winner in the fourth minute of stoppage time to put a dent in Real Salt Lake’s ambitions.

In other results, the Colorado Rapids and Chivas USA drew 1-1, while the third-placed Seattle Sounders closed the gap on the Western Conference’s top sides when they defeated Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0, with second-half goals from Fredy Montero and Edward Johnson doing the damage.

And goals from Chris Rolfe and Sherjill MacDonald helped the Chicago Fire to a 2-1 win over New England.

Sun 19 August, 2012
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