Fernandes hat trick leads Sporting KC past Sounders
Sports Xchange - Thursday 18th May, 2017
Gerso Fernandes scored three goals in 13 minutes of the second half to lift Sporting Kansas City to a 3-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders Wednesday night at Children's Mercy Park.
It was the15th straight home match without a defeat and the fifth straight home win for Sporting KC.
Sporting (6-2-4, 22 points) moved into sole possession of the top spot in the Western Conference table ahead of the Houston Dynamo, who fell 2-0 at the Philadelphia Union, and idle FC Dallas. Seattle (2-5-4, 10 points) continues to struggle coming off its MLS Cup championship last season.
Sporting KC goalkeeper Tim Melia extended his lead among MLS goalkeepers with his seventh clean sheet. No other keeper has more than four. Sporting has yielded only seven goals in 12 games.
It took until the 53rd minute for Sporting KC to get a shot, and another couple of minutes to get a shot on goal. Its fourth shot was a beautiful decoy by Gerso, who, after hesitating, fired it past three Seattle defenders in the 56th minute. Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei didn't move off his spot.
Two minutes later, Gerso gathered his own deflection and slid it past Frei, who was diving in the opposite direction. Jimmy Medranda gained control down the right flank and fed Gerso in front of the net. His first shot hit the post and came right back to him for the brace.
In the 69th minute, Graham Zusi fed Gerso with a beautiful cross, and Gerso found the upper right corner of the net and the first hat trick of his career. He is the sixth player in Kansas City Wizards/Sporting Kansas City history to record a hat trick in an MLS regular-season game.
It was a complete turnaround of the pace of the game from the first half. Seattle took a defensive posture in the first stanza, packing in the defense and making Sporting scoring opportunities rare.
Sporting owned a big chunk of the possession in the first half, with a 68 percent to 32 percent advantage. But the Sounders had the only scoring opportunities. Sporting was held without a shot in the first half, the first time this season they have been held without a shot in the first half. Meanwhile, Seattle had five, including three shots on goal.
Melia made two spectacular saves in the final two minutes of the first half to keep the game at nil-nil.
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