Real Esteli vs. Sporting KC: Final score 0-2, SKC dominant in Nicaragua


Sporting made their CONCACAF Champions League debut look like a kick around in the back yard with an easy win over Real Esteli.

Sporting Kansas City's CONCACAF Champions League debut went exactly as planned. They kept possession and attacked quickly. When they lost the ball, the pressured and played physically to win the ball back quickly. Being on the road didn't bother them one bit as they executed their gameplan to perfection, and the scoreboard showed it in a 2-0 win over Real Esteli.

It was clear from the start that Real Esteli's midfield couldn't handle the pressure Sporting put on them. Whenever they got the ball, they gave it away so quickly that long boots upfield that rolled to Eric Kronberg were upgrades.

After a handful of near-misses, Sporting finally found the net in the 32nd minute thanks to Ike Opara's remarkable leaping ability and some luck. Benny Feilhaber hit a free kick to that back post that Opara skied to meet and while he mis-hit his header, it lofted over the goalkeeper and just under the crossbar to put the visitors in front.

For all of their chances, Sporting struggled at add to their lead and their dominance on the ball didn't result in many chances as the match went on. They couldn't turn their several good forays forward into actual attempts at goal and allowed an overwhelmed Real Esteli to stick around.

Finally, in the 75th minute, Dom Dwyer put things away. He wriggled free of the Real Esteli defense and found himself 15 yards from goal on the left, where he hit a shot that just squeezed inside the far post for a fantastic goal.

Real Esteli managed just two shots all game, both from more than 20 yards out. While they did better keeping the ball as the match went on, it was all in their own third as Sporting allowed them no way through. There was no doubt who the better team was and when the final whistle was blown.

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