Gutierrez scores 2 as Sporting KC beats Sounders 3-2
By MARK MOSCHETTI
SEATTLE (AP) Felipe Gutierrez credited luck for one of his going in the net for Sporting Kansas City.
His coach, Peter Vermes, said luck also kept a couple of Seattle shots out of the net.
Gutierrez scored twice in the first half, including his fifth penalty kick conversion of the season, boosting KC past the Sounders 3-2 on Sunday night.
Erik Hurtado also scored for Sporting (7-9-7, 28 points), which snapped a two-game losing streak.
Gutierrez put Kansas City on the board in the 12th minute. Seth Sinovic sent a short pass down the left wing side. The unmarked Gutierrez caught up with the ball, took it into the left side of the penalty area and sent a shallow 8-yard shot into the net just inside the far post for his ninth goal of the year.
"Nobody from the other team followed me. I was alone behind them on the right side of them," Gutierrez said. "I could make a controlling turn, and I see nobody went me, so I could make another touch. In that position, I try a lot in training to take that shot down into the (far) post. Today, I think I was lucky."
In the 33rd minute, KC's Gerso Fernandez took the ball into the right side of the box near the goal line. He was pushed down by Seattle's Nouhou, who was whistled for the foul. Referee Ismail Elfath then went to the video review, and barely 30 seconds later came back and pointed to the penalty spot. Gutiereez drilled his penalty kick into the upper center of the net.
That was Sporting's sixth successful PK of the season, tied with Atlanta and Minnesota for most in the league.
Jordan Morris scored twice for the Sounders (11-7-5, 38 points), giving him seven goals for the season and three in the past two games.
Morris cut Kansas City's lead to 2-1 just 55 seconds into the second half. Nico Lodeiro set it up with a long pass down the left wing. Morris took it toward the top of the 6-yard box and fired a shot from past goalkeeper Tim Melia to the far post.
Hurtado's goal off a counterattack in the 58th minute restored the two-goal margin. It was his first of the season.
"Going back to 3-1 was huge," Kansas City coach Peter Vermes said. "Especially on the road, you've got to be able to grind games out sometimes, and we were able to do that tonight. What I'm really happy with is even though they scored really quick after halftime, we didn't lose our composure."
Morris' goal in the 82nd minute again got Seattle within one. The Sounders then had two near-misses at the equalizer late in the game: a shot off the post by Handwalla Bwana, and a save by Melia on a drive deep into the box by Morris.
"Every other game prior to this, those guys would have scored - it would have gone in," Vermes said. "It's good to see some luck has gone our way."
Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said defense let his team down.
"We can't give up three goals at home," he said. "I think we created enough chances to score more than two goals. There's an old saying out there that defense wins championships, and some of that is obviously true. But we can't give up three goals at home to any team, much less to a conference opponent."
Updated August 5, 2019