(September 21, 2013) -- Sporting Kansas City moved back into first place in the Eastern Conference with a 2-1 win over Toronto FC on Saturday afternoon at BMO Field. C.J. Sapong scored twice as Sporting KC won their third consecutive League match.
Sapong scored a goal in each half for the first multi-goal game of his career. Sporting KC improved to 16-0-2 when Sapong scores in MLS competition.
The third-year striker opened the scoring in the 18th minute. Graham Zusi lofted a cross into the Toronto FC penalty box. Dom Dwyer headed the ball back across the middle and Sapong buried the header past goalkeeper Joe Bendik from the top of the six-yard box. Sapong has recorded a goal or an assist in three consecutive league matches.
Toronto FC settled down after the goal and found their equalizer in the 44th minute. Alvaro Rey picked up an errant pass deep in Sporting KC territory. The Spanish midfielder found an open Darel Russell who pulled his shot between goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen and the near post.
Nielsen made one save on the day, a stop on Toronto FC's Andrew Wiedeman in the first half. The Danish goalkeeper started his 85th consecutive MLS match, the third-longest streak in MLS history.
Sapong scored the eventual game-winner for Sporting KC in the 53rd minute. Zusi played a quick throw-in to Chance Myers. The right back took one touch and curled a perfectly placed ball to the penalty spot. Sapong beat right back Mark Bloom to the spot and headed the ball to the far corner past Bendik.
Toronto FC played the final four minutes of the match with 10 men after Steven Caldwell was issued a straight red card for a studs-up challenge on Josh Gardner.
Sporting KC is now tied with the New York Red Bulls with 48 points atop the Eastern Conference. The Red Bulls host FC Dallas on Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m.
Sporting KC has a short week as they prepare for Friday night's match against the Philadelphia Union. The nationally-televised contest (NBC Sports Network) will kick off at 7 p.m. CT at Sporting Park. Limited tickets are available, including standing room only tickets, and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com.
With the win, Sporting Kansas City moves into a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference with 48 points (14-9-6).
Sporting KC is 10-4-4 against Toronto FC all-time and 3-3-3 on the road in the series.
Peter Vermes is 7-1-2 all-time against Toronto FC as a manager. His 0.554 winning percentage as a manager is best in club history.
Sporting KC is 226-215-115 all-time and 77-136-65 on the road all-time.
Sporting KC has the best road record in MLS this season (6-5-3) and is the only team in Major League Soccer with a positive goal difference on the road (+1) in 2013.
Sporting KC's +15 goal difference is tied for the best in MLS this season.
Sporting Kansas City has the best goals against average in MLS with 28 goals allowed in 29 games (0.97).
Sporting KC has conceded one or fewer goals in 22 of the team's 29 matches this season.
Allowing one goal in Saturday's match, Sporting KC has conceded the fewest goals on the road among all MLS teams this season with 14.
With the loss, Toronto FC extended their number of consecutive matches without a victory to eight. It has been nine MLS matches since Toronto last scored more than one goal in a game.
Sporting KC completed the season series with Toronto FC on Saturday, going 2-1-0 against the Reds this season.
Toronto FC beat Sporting KC 2-1 on March 9 in both teams second match of the season.
Sporting KC earned the convincing 3-0 victory against Toronto FC on July 13 courtesy of a Soony Saad brace and a goal from Claudio Bieler.
Bieler missed Saturday's match along with Oriol Rosell and Paulo Nagamura.
Sporting KC scored first on Saturday when C.J. Sapong directed a header past Joe Bendik in the 18th minute.
The goal was scored on Sporting KC's lone shot on goal in the first half.
Graham Zusi and Dom Dwyer each earned an assist on the play. Zusi has a team-high seven assists in 2013. The assist is Dwyer's second of his MLS career, both coming in his last two appearances.
The assist is Zusi's 30th in his MLS regular season career, ranking him fourth on the club's all-time chart. Saturday's assist was his first since July 20.
Zusi led MLS in assists in 2012 with 15 during the regular season.
Dwyer set a single-game career high with four shots and two shots on goal on Saturday.
Lawrence Olum set a single-game career high with three shots on Saturday. He led all players on Saturday with 42 passes.
Ike Opara led all players with 10 clearances on Saturday.
Darel Russell leveled the score in the 39th minute with his second goal of the season. Alvaro Rey earned his first assist of the season on the goal.
Sapong then scored Sporting KC's second goal of the match. With two goals on Saturday, Sapong now has four goals this season and 18 during his MLS career in the regular season.
Sporting KC is 16-0-2 when Sapong scores in MLS competition (including playoffs).
Sporting KC leads MLS with 12 headed goals in 2013.
Chance Myers earned the assist on Sapong's second goal. The assist is Myers third during the 2013 MLS regular season and 12th of his career.
The assist is Myers second game-winning assist of the year and sixth of his career.
Sapong recorded his first career multi-goal game on Saturday and becomes the fifth KC player to score two goals in a game against Toronto FC all-time.
Sapong now has three career goals against Toronto, most among all active KC players.
Toronto FC has the second worst home record in MLS this season (2-5-8) behind only D.C. United (3-8-3).
Sporting KC is 10-0-1 when leading in the 75th minute this season.
Sporting KC is 5-4-3 when allowing one goal and 5-2-1 when scoring two goals.
Sporting KC is 11-2-3 when scoring first. Sporting KC has won six straight when scoring first.
Sporting KC is 12-7-5 when wearing Sporting Blue.
Sporting KC is 8-8-0 in one-goal games.
Sporting KC is 5-5-4 when tied at halftime.
Sporting KC outshot Toronto FC 11-9 on Saturday. Sporting KC is 11-7-5 when outshooting their opponent.
Sporting KC is 12-5-4 when the game is broadcast on KSMO-TV.
Sporting KC is 11-5-4 against Eastern Conference opponents.
Sporting KC is 2-0-0 during September of 2013 and 27-31-13 in the month of September all-time.
Former Sporting KC midfielder Bobby Convey had the most crosses on the field on Saturday with seven.
C.J. Sapong went up for nine aerial duels and won six, most among all players on Saturday. His 19 total duels also led all players.
Sapong set a single-game career high with five fouls committed on Saturday. He ties Aurelien Collin (8/18/12) for the most fouls committed by a KC player against Toronto FC all-time.
Collin received his 11th yellow card of the season on Saturday, most in MLS and fifth most by a player in a single season in MLS history.
Collin leads MLS with 179 headed clearances in 2013. He ranks second in MLS with 246 clearances, 217 duels won and 123 aerial duels won.
Sporting KC has lost just one of their last 10 MLS games against Toronto FC.
Toronto FC was reduced to 10-men in the 86th minute of the match when Toronto FC captain Steven Caldwell was shown a red card for a reckless tackle on Josh Gardner.
Sporting KC is 7-1-0 in games when an opponent receives a red card. Caldwell was the ninth Sporting KC opponent to be ejected this season.
Toronto FC's Mark Bloom made his first home start for Toronto FC on Saturday after playing his first 90 minutes for Toronto against the New York Red Bulls last weekend.
Toronto FC head coach Ryan Nelsen and another member of the Toronto FC technical staff were ejected from the match in second half stoppage time.
Toronto FC leads all MLS clubs with 59 cautions in 2013.
Sporting Kansas City's two corner kicks on Saturday tied the team's season low. Graham Zusi leads MLS with 111 corner kicks this season.
Saturday marked the fourth Sporting Kansas City match in 2013 in which no Sporting KC player was caught offside.
Sporting KC's 292 total passes on Saturday was the second fewest for an MLS match this season. Sporting KC narrowly lost the possession percentage (49.3 to 50.7), marking the first time to not have controlled the majority of possession since June 22nd.
Sporting Kansas City are second in MLS in chances created (including assists) with 325 and in possession with 56.43%.
Sporting Kansas City leads MLS with 3,421 duels, 1,718 duels won, 677 interceptions, 560 headed clearances and 441 shots this season.
Sporting Kansas City leads MLS all-time with 7,632 shots.
Sporting Kansas City has conceded the fewest corners (111), shots (252) and shots on goal (88) in MLS this season. Sporting KC held Toronto without a shot on goal in the second half on Saturday.
Toronto FC leads MLS with 601 tackles. Sporting KC ranks second with 588 tackles.
Jimmy Nielsen played his 85th consecutive complete MLS regular season game on Saturday, the third longest streak in MLS history.
His 1.01 career goals against average is best in MLS history. His 54 wins are most by a Sporting KC goalkeeper all-time.
Nielsen is now tied with Luis Robles for the League lead in wins by a goalkeeper with 14.
Sporting KC returns to Sporting Park on Friday, September 27 to face the Philadelphia Union at 7 p.m. CT. The match will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network.