Sporting KC Drop Home Points on Late Derek Cornelius Strike

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Derek Cornelius
KANSAS CITY, KS - MAY 18: Vancouver Whitecaps defender Derek Cornelius (13) celebrates after scoring the equalizer goal in added time after the second half of an MLS match between the Vancouver Whitecaps and Sporting Kansas City on May 18, 2019 at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, KS. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Kansas City, Kan.- Sporting KC were in the driver’s seat through 94 minutes of play, despite Krizstian Nemeth’s red card in the 50th minute. But a late Derek Cornelius volley gave the Vancouver Whitecaps a massive road point out of virtually nothing.

Sporting KC Drop Points at Home

Sporting KC was enjoying a 1-0 lead in the 49th minute. Then Krizstian Nemeth, Sporting’s goalscorer, slid into a reckless challenge and was given a straight red card. Nemeth got up and immediately pleaded with the ref not to send him off. He knew it, Vermes knew it, and it changed the complexion of the game. Instead of Sporting KC on the front-foot, it was Vancouver.

Vancouver looked 100% uncomfortable being the protagonist. It’s not their DNA or blueprint under Marc Dos Santos. As they found themselves in an unfamiliar position of having the majority of the play, Sporting KC managed 44 minutes of the required 45 (40 minutes of play plus 5 minutes of stoppage time) pretty well. One could argue that it was managed well despite the goal.

Vermes called it a fluke after the match, a goal from nothing. But it was expertly taken by Cornelius, earning Vancouver a point when they didn’t have much business in getting one. It’s the Marc Dos Santos way though, and Vancouver is certainly starting to find their stride.

Three “Quick” Things

  1. Kellyn Rowe had his best game as a member of Sporting KC. That’s both my own opinion and the opinion of Peter Vermes. Vermes was complimentary of Rowe, and still acknowledged he gave the ball up a few times too many. But in the attacking buildup, he found the half-spaces and worked really well along the left wing with Seth Sinovic
  2. Benny Feilhaber is still very good. Benny wasn’t quite his old self, he saw less of the ball and wasn’t asked to play as a number 10 as much. However, he made the type of play many had come to recognize in his time with Sporting KC. He dispossessed Vancouver in the middle of the field, and instantly turned and sprung Johnny Russell in on goal. Crepeau made an incredible save, and Nemeth mopped up the mess. Vintage Benny.
  3. Sporting KC was much better with Matt Besler at the back and you could just see exactly why they missed him. There was an organizing presence, a calm on the ball out of the back, and a vocal leader on the field. Besler’s return and subsequent good health will mean things come back to normal in short time for Sporting KC.

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