Lucas Cavallini’s penalty kick in the 24th minute provided the only offense Vancouver would need as the Whitecaps defeated Sporting Kansas City 1-0 Saturday night in Kansas City.
Vancouver played a packed-in set with six defenders in the starting lineup. Once Cavallini put the Whitecaps ahead, Sporting had difficulty applying any pressure on Vancouver keeper Cody Cropper.
Vancouver (4-7-2, 14 points) earned its first point on the road this season (1-6-0). Vancouver pulled ahead of Sporting, relegating SKC to the bottom position in the Western Conference table.
Sporting KC (3-8-4, 13 points) lost just its second match at Children’s Mercy Park (5-2-2) in all competitions. A weary Sporting played its seventh match in the last 22 days.
Peter Vermes coached in his 418th MLS regular-season match with Sporting Kansas City, more than half of the franchise’s 835 matches.
Sporting kept searching for scoring combinations that could crack the Vancouver defense. Starting forward Daniel Salloi missed the match because of a red card suspension. Khiry Shelton, another starter at the No. 9 position, missed the match with an injury. Sporting has not had two of its three designated players all season, as Alan Pulido and Gadi Kinda have been out with knee injuries.
Sporting owned nearly 60 percent of the second-half possession, but still couldn’t muster many scoring opportunities. Their only shot on goal in the first 90 minutes was a weak deflection from Johnny Russell when he was not able to control a pass from Felipe Hernandez. Nicolas Isimat-Mirin’s header from the center of the box in the final minute of stoppage time was blocked off the line by defender Javain Brown.
Vancouver got on the board in the 24th minute on the penalty kick by Cavallini. Cavallini drew a foul on Oriol Rosell in the box after Cavallini controlled a loose ball and was tripped.
Vancouver nearly took a 2-0 lead in the 31st minute when Deiber Caicedo got behind the SKC defense but shot it wide to the right of the goal.
Vancouver went to the locker room with the lead for the first time in 2022.
–Field Level Media