Kansas City, MO - The Colorado Rapids defeated Sporting Kansas City 1-0 on an 84th minute goal on Tuesday in MLS Reserve League action at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park. The goal was scored by Andre Akpan off an assist from Well Thompson late in the second half.
Play was even for much of the first half, seeing several chances for both sides. Sporting Kansas City had the first two chances of the half, the first with Soony Saad finding Teal Bunbury, whose shot was deflected for an easy save for Ceus in the fourth minute. In the seventh minute, Saad was the one on the end of it, earning a shot off Jacob Peterson’s cross.
Despite the early opportunities in Sporting KC’s favor, it was Colorado who had arguably the best two chances in the half in the 26th and 29th minutes, respectively. Rapids forward Kohei Yamada won the ball in the midfield and found Josh Janniere making a slashing run in behind Sporting Kansas City’s backline. Homegrown goalkeeper Jon Kempin came well off his goal line to make a sliding save on the play.
Just three minutes later, Thompson broke free with a pacey dribble down the center of the park. Thompson distributed it to Akpan making a run down the right flank and the Harvard product played a one-time cross for Janniere, but his shot soared over the cross bar.
The Rapids were reduced to ten men in the 43rd minute when Eddie Ababio was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Kevin Ellis along the right sideline.
After a scoreless first half, it was Sporting KC and Bunbury again who had the first chance in the second half, directing a header on frame off a service from Michael Harrington in the 52nd minute. Sporting Kansas City’s best chance of the match came from a long clearance from defender Kevin Ellis, whose pass was flicked onto Bunbury by second-half substitute Dom Dwyer. A great defensive effort was made by a recovering Colorado defender to block Bunbury’s shot and keep the match scoreless in the 76th minute.
Eight minutes later, the Rapids capitalized on a counter attack to record the game’s only goal. Thompson received the ball in the midfield before knocking Akpan a well-weighted ball into the right side of the penalty area. Akpan hit a solid shot to beat Kempin and give the Rapids the 1-0 victory.
The Rapids move to 3-2-0 in the 2012 Reserve League while Sporting Kansas City suffers their second loss in the competition falling to 1-2-1. Sporting Kansas City will continue play in the MLS Reserve League on Tuesday, May 1 when they face FC Dallas at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park. The Rapids will host the Central/Mountain Division leaders Houston Dynamo on May 23rd.
COL – Andre Akpan (Wells Thompson) 84
COL – Eddie Ababio (Ejection; Serious Foul Play) 43
KC – Jacob Peterson (Caution; Unsporting behavior) 43
KC – Dom Dwyer (Caution; Technical Foul) 72
COL – Tyrone Marshall (Caution; Technical Foul) 79
Colorado Rapids Reserves – Steward Ceus; Hunter Freeman, Tyron Marshall, Scott Palguta, Eddie Ababio; Wells Thompson, Shane O’Niell, Dillon Serna*; Kohei Yamada (Davy Armstrong 68), Josh Janniere (Ricardo Perez* 87), Andre Akpan.
Subs not used: Ian Joyce, Joseph Nane, Chris Gurule*
Sporting KC Reserves – Jon Kempin; Michael Harrington, Lawrence Olum, Konrad Warzycha, Kevin Ellis (Shawn Singh 80); Paulo Nagamura, Luke Sassano (Peterson Joseph 46), Soony Saad; Korede Aiyegbusi Dom Dwyer 66), Teal Bunbury, Jacob Peterson.
Subs not used: Jacole Turner**, Leo Gibson*, Kyle Miller*, Michael Thomas