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Played
October 5, 2013 7:30 PM EDT
Columbus Crew Stadium — Columbus, Ohio
Referee:‬ J. Gonzalez‎
Attendance:‬ 19107‎
 
 
Ike Opara 17′

Columbus Crew 0-1 Sporting Kansas City: Opara goal deals blow to Crew

The center back nodded home a Graham Zusi service to give the visitors three key points in their chase for the Eastern Conference's top seed.

By Thomas Floyd

Graham Zusi, Sporting KC
Abelimages
Sporting Kansas City gained ground in the race for the Eastern Conference's top seed Saturday, claiming victory over a Columbus Crew side that saw its playoff hopes take a crippling blow.

Desperately in need of a result at home, the Crew dropped a 1-0 decision to Kansas City that leaves it two points behind the Chicago Fire — who have a game in hand — for the final playoff position. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Columbus, which had surged back into the postseason picture.

Sporting, meanwhile, gained two points on the first-place Red Bulls, who tied New England 2-2. Kansas City, which has won four of its past five, now trails New York by two points but with one more match to play.

Kansas City grabbed the only goal it needed in the 17th minute. After a corner kick bounced around the box and eventually popped out to Graham Zusi, the playmaker swung in a service that an unmarked Ike Opara nodded home at the far post.

Although Columbus dominated possession as it pushed for the equalizer, the Crew failed to crack Kansas City's sturdy back line.

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Columbus Crew

28
Matt Lampson
Goalkeeper
 - 
2
Tyson Wahl
Defender
 - 
14
Chad Marshall
Defender
 - 
21
Chad Barson
Defender
86′
 - 
6
Tony Tchani
Midfielder
 - 
7
Bernardo Anor
Midfielder
 - 
20
William Trapp
Midfielder
 - 
24
A. Viana
Defender
71′
 - 
8
Dominic Oduro
Striker
 - 
19
J. Arrieta
Striker
76′
 - 
10
 - 

Sporting Kansas City

 - 
1
Jimmy Nielsen
Goalkeeper
 - 
3
Ike Opara
Defender
17′
 - 
5
Matt Besler
Defender
 - 
7
 - 
13
Lawrence Olum
Midfielder
 - 
15
 - 
8
Graham Zusi
Midfielder
 - 
19
 - 
14
 - 
17
 - 
22
Soony Saad
Striker
70′

Substitutes

30
 - 
3
 - 
13
Ethan Finlay
Midfielder
 - 
23
Kevan George
Midfielder
 - 
9
Justin Meram
Midfielder
 - 
17
Ben Speas
Midfielder
86′
 - 
26
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
18
Eric Kronberg
Goalkeeper
 - 
78
 - 
10
 - 
25
Christian Duke
Midfielder
 - 
31
 - 
10
 - 
37
Jacob Peterson
Midfielder
70′

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Player   Goals Penalties
E. Torres E. Torres
Striker
Chivas USA
6 3
Clint Dempsey Clint Dempsey
Striker
Seattle Sounders
6 1
V. Sánchez V. Sánchez
Striker
Colorado
4 3
Federico Higuaín Federico Higuaín
Striker
Columbus Crew
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Bradley Wright-Phillips Bradley Wright-Phillips
Striker
NY Red Bulls
4 1