• Wednesday Aug 28, 2013

    Saad seals points for Sporting Kansas City

    TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Soony Saad scored a goal in each half to lift Sporting Kansas City to a 2-0 win over Olimpia in a Group 2 match in the CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday at the Estadio Tiburcio Carias Andino. 

    The 21-year-old netted his fourth tally in all competitions in the 27th minute to put the visitors in front, 1-0. With time and space, Claudio Bieler played the ball along the wet pitch to Graham Zusi, who freed Saad into the box with a quick flick.  The American-born Lebanon international took a touch and shot low from 11-yards out past Olimpia goalkeeper Noel Valladares.

    In the 68th minute, Saad added his second tally, converting from the penalty spot after second-half substitute Dom Dwyer was taken down in the box by Carlos Mejia. Saad put his shot off Valladares’ left hand and into the net.

    Olimpia found it difficult to pierce the Kansas City defense during a first half played under a driving downpour. That was never more evident than a 42nd minute free kick, which Bayron Mendez tried to play to Mejia, but the ball harmlessly rolled out of play.

    Three minutes earlier, Javier Portillo curled in a cross from the left, but defender Seth Sinovic won the header in the box and Haiti international Mechack Jerome cleared athletically for Sporting Kansas City.

    Olimpia head coach Juan Carlos Espinoza made two changes after the break.  Brazilian striker Douglas Caetano Mattoso entered the game prior to the second-half restart, while Rigoberto Padilla was brought on in the 58th minute.  The moves injected new life into the Lions, who generated their first spell of sustained pressure in the attacking third.

    Just past the hour mark, Mejia had an opportunity to knot the score, but his low, hard shot from the right side of the 18-yard box was wide of the far post.

    Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Eric Kronberg bobbled a Brayan Beckeles cross in the 62nd minute, but Ike Opara was able to clear the ball for a corner kick.

    Moments later, the 2012 U.S. Open Cup champion all but put the game away with Saad’s second of the match.

    As stoppage time elapsed, Caetano Mattoso headed into the chest of Kronberg, who picked up his second clean sheet of the tournament.

    With maximum points from its first two Group Stage matches – both on the road – Sporting Kansas City moves atop Group 2 with six points. The Major League Soccer club will play its final two Group Stage matches, against winless Real Esteli (September 17) and Olimpia (October 23), at Sporting Park.

    Olimpia, which has now scored one goal or less in five straight CCL outings, will next face Real Esteli in Tegucigalpa on September 24. 

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