NYCFC’s winning streak snapped in Kansas City

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by CHRISTIAN ARAOS

New York City FC’s shutout streak ended after eight minutes and their winning streak followed as they fell 3–1 to Sporting Kansas City on Sunday night.

Benny Feilhaber opened the scoring when he was unmarked atop the six-yard box, finishing into an empty net. Frank Lampard equalized seven minutes later but Sporting retook the lead immediately afterwards. Jimmy Medranda took a shot from distance that bounced over Josh Saunders’ hand.

NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira gave Ronald Matarrita his first start at left wing with R.J. Allen moved to left back and Jason Hernandez starting at right back. Although Matarrita assisted on Lampard’s goal, he and Allen struggled to form a connection during the first half and Matarrita was substituted at halftime.

Overall, City’s backline struggled on the ball and could not cope with Sporting Kansas City’s fluid attack. Sporting started the match on the front foot and pinned NYCFC within its own defensive third. They found their opener when Jacob Peterson redirected a cross off the crossbar and Feilhaber was free to knock in the rebound. They handed The Pigeons the equalizer with a turnover to Andrea Pirlo who came forward and laid off for Matarrita. Matarrita found Lampard inside the area and the midfielder beat Tim Melia at the near post.

Sporting retook the lead less than two minutes later when a cleared corner kick found Medranda whose shot snuck passed Saunders at the near post. Sporting scored their third goal from the second phase once again. NYCFC struggled to a clear a corner and Feilhaber was able to find Ike Opara in behind and Opara slipped his finish under Saunders.

NYCFC remain in first place in the Eastern Conference with 30 points in 20 games. They lead the Philadelphia Union by one point and are nine points above the red line. City faces the Montreal Impact next Sunday July 17.