Well that was a match of soccer all right. A match of soccer definitely happened today at Jeld-Wen Field, and the Portland Timbers managed to earn themselves a rare win, knocking off formerly perfect Sporting Kansas City in the process. Ish. They may have had some help.
The first half progressed just like you'd have predicted, if you were predicting a boring game in which absolutely nothing happened. Sporting were clearly tired and stymied by their hosts' resolute defending, while the Timbers were looking threatening on the break but lacked the requisite touch on their passing to get the final ball to one of their own players. Fortunately for Portland, that turned out not to matter a whole lot.
In the 41st minute Kris Boyd latched onto a quick pass forward, racing down the right flank with Kansas City's defence out of position. There was nobody in the box. The striker didn't care. He crossed anyway. Waiting to clear the ball were Chance Myers and Julio Cesar, but they both went for it at once, which led to one of the more amusing own goals you're likely to see - a flying header from Myers which skimmed the inside of Jimmy Nielson's far post at no small speed to give the Timbers a 1-0 lead.
The defender looked utterly mortified by this chain of events, but it was such a good finish it was almost worth celebrating. Embrace the absurdity, Chance. That may well be the best goal you'll ever score.
Anyway, the second half was a half of a soccer match that happened. Boyd had a good chance to double Portland's lead in the early stages, but his first-time shot was well blocked by Nielsen, and the rest of the half was fairly uneventful in terms of scoring chances.
In terms of kicking Steve Purdy in the nuts, it was slightly more eventful. Aurelin Collin's excuse will be that his eyes were on the ball and that he was going for a volley, but I have my suspicions that there was an ulterior motive - perhaps the Sporting player is engaged in a secret eugenics program designed to create more attractive humans and decided that Purdy simply could not be allowed to reproduce. I can't say I blame him. Collin picked up a yellow card for his troubles, and Purdy would eventually have to be replaced.
Sporting seemed to realise that they were losing a game that they probably weren't supposed to and went on the offensive, launching a wave of attacks that can probably be best described as broadly incompetent. Portland defended without much of a problem, primarily because the visitors seemed very keen on shooting straight at green shirts rather than towards the goal and/or forgetting where the ball was after Troy Perkins dropped it on top of them. Perhaps they should have aimed at Myers' head.
At any rate, the match finished 1-0 to Portland, which means that Sporting have failed to win for the first time in eight matches this season. It's a great result for the Timbers, if a middling performance. As for the game itself, it was pretty bad, but it was also pretty funny, and that's what counts, if you're me. Your mileage may vary.