KANSAS CITY, Kan. – For the first time this season at Sporting Park, a visiting side built a lead that Sporting Kansas City couldn't erase.
Then again, the San Jose Earthquakes had this one won from the first time they put the ball in the net. They just kept pouring on the goals after that, routing shorthanded Sporting 5-0 on Wednesday night behind two goals each from Cordell Cato and Chris Wondolowski and another from new Panamanian midfielder Anibal Godoy.
Wondolowski's brace, one in each half, gave him 100 goals with San Jose.
Shea Salinas assisted on both of Cato's goals and David Bingham recorded his eighth clean sheet for the Quakes (9-10-5), who handed Sporting (11-5-7) their first defeat in 17 home matches across all competitions. San Jose's victory also broke a string of 10 straight road losses to Kansas City across all competitions – and was the first by a visiting team in the series since 2004.
Sporting had to play down a man after midfielder Benny Feilhaber was given a straight red card in the 75th minute for a last-man foul on Quincy Amarikwa outside the penalty area. Feilhaber, who leads Sporting with 18 assists across all competitions – tying him with Preki (2003) for the single-season club record – had a streak of seven straight matches with a goal and/or an assist broken and will be suspended for Saturday's match at Columbus.
Things turned ugly early for the home side, who were coming off Saturday's emotional 4-3 comeback win over Vancouver and playing their fourth match in 12 days. Kansas City looked worn out in the back all night, the midfield struggled on both sides of the ball and Sporting didn't put a shot on goal until just before the hour mark.
By then, they were down 4-0 and on their way to conceding eight goals over their last two outings, even with Saturday's spectacular comeback.
The match was less than three minutes old when Salinas drove into the penalty area to the left of the goal, then cut the ball back to Cato for an easy close-range finish past Tim Melia – and once they had the lead, the Quakes continued to push for more.
In the 16th, the pushing paid off – as another literal push proved costly for Sporting.
Right back Chance Myers' two-handed shove sent Amarikwa to the pitch in the middle of the area, and referee Jair Marrufo pointed straight to the spot as Myers put both hands to his head in dismay. Wondolowski sent Melia diving to his right but put his penalty coolly inside the right post to double the visitors' lead.
It looked to be 3-0 on Fatai Alashe's header in the 20th minute, but the play was ruled offside. There were no flags raised in the 27th, though, when Godoy took a pretty backheel up the middle from Amarikwa, raced into the area, cut back to his left to shed center back Kevin Ellis and buried his shot from just right of the penalty spot.
Cato's second goal, in the 58th minute, was a near-repeat of the first: the deep drive from Salinas, the cross to the middle, the ball driven home from just a few yards out. But when Wondolowski completed his brace and reached the century mark for his club in the 61st, it was no simple finish from the spot – and it more than made up for his pushing a sitter wide left in the 52nd.
Alashe sent in a diagonal ball from the right side, and Wondolowski dove in front of Ellis to send a long header just past the defender's outstretched foot and into the net.
San Jose are also on the road this Saturday, with the Earthquakes traveling to D.C. United.