Sporting Kansas City and the New York Red Bulls entered their Sunday night tilt as the first and second place teams in the Eastern Conference and they played with all the intensity that you would expect from such a big match. In the end, the intensity and chippiness won out because neither team could separate themselves in a 1-1 draw at Livestrong Sporting Park.
Kei Kamara put Sporting in front less than four minutes in thanks to some terrible defending by the Red Bulls. Graham Zusi chipped over the top of the New York defense for Teal Bunbury, who shrugged off Markus Holgersson's feeble attempt to stop him. Bill Gaudette came charging out, but he didn't get to it in time, allowing Bunbury to pop the ball over his head. That's where Kamara was waiting to head it into the open goal for the early lead.
Being the kind fellow that he is, Kamara thought it only fair to also put the ball into his own goal. When Sebastien Le Toux's long free kick floated into the Sporting six-yard box and Jimmy Nielsen inexplicably failed to come and collect it, Kamara was left in an awkward defending position. While falling backwards, the forward looked every bit like a non-defender, nodding the ball into his own net and leveling the match at one apiece.
From that point on, the two teams took turns assaulting each other. Only five yellow cards were given out, but it could have been many more and they did combine for 32 fouls. Kansas City was the better team, but they couldn't quite find the final ball and New York was happy to absorb the pressure then look to counter-attack.
That almost paid off for the Red Bulls late when Dax McCarty had the winner sitting on his foot. Le Toux got in behind the Sporting defense and while Chance Myers was able to track the Frenchman down, Le Toux played a square ball to McCarty in front of goal. He had an easy winner, but then he inexplicably took too many touches, failed to get a shot off and then made a laughable attempt at diving to draw a penalty.
Neither team was able to find the winner, with McCarty's opportunity being the last one for either side and they settled for a draw. The result keeps both teams in their places in the table, with Sporting sitting atop the conference and New York in second.