Sporting KC may find themselves missing Kei Kamara for more than just a few months.
Kamara, who joined Premier League club Norwich City on a loan earlier this month, is adapting to top-flight English football rather nicely. Exactly two weeks after he made his EPL debut as a four-minutes-from-time substitute in Norwich's scoreless draw with Fulham, the Sierra Leone international was his team's most influential player in their rally from behind against an Everton side that, after Saturday's result, are quickly losing grasp of any European football hopes.
Kamara entered the match 13 minutes after the halftime break and Norwich down 1-0, and he needed just a couple of minutes to grab the attention of Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard. With his back turned toward goal while inside the left side of the penalty area and the ball heading his way, Kamara squared up and attempted a scissors-kick that, while struck well, wasn't hit with enough power to beat the American. Kamara again announced his intentions eight minutes later when he tried to equalize via his head, but the ball fell inches wide of the target.
His best header was yet to come. Norwich won a corner six minutes from time, and Everton's Marouane Fellaini uncharacteristically lost his man. Kamara found space and rose above every other player inside the box before smashing home a header that may or may not have left a significant divot on the goal-line before bouncing into the back of the net. While that enough would have landed Kamara a spot in highlight reels, he and his head weren't yet finished.
With just seconds left in stoppage time, Russell Martin played a diagonal ball toward the far post, and Kamara and teammate Sebastien Bassong out-jumped their single marker and won the ball together. Grant Holt slid in and tapped home the winning goal, a tally that earned Norwich three gigantic points. The Canaries can now breathe a little easier as February comes to an end. They are eight points from the drop, and each of the bottom-four teams also played earlier today.
Norwich manager Chris Hughton is expecting more good things from his on-loan forward as winter makes way for spring. The Guardian quoted him as having stated the following about Kamara: "Kei is a different type of player to what we'd got up front. He's probably not up to speed yet regarding his fitness but we knew he was something different when we took him in and I'm really delighted." Kamara is currently slated to be with Norwich up through the end of the EPL season before returning to KC.
Hughton just might have something to say about that if Kamara continues to impress.
The day couldn't have gone much worse for Everton. They now find themselves five points behind fifth place Arsenal (the Gunners defeated Aston Villa 2-1 on Saturday). Fourth place Tottenham Hotspur, six points ahead of Everton as of Saturday evening, have a golden opportunity to pick up a win on Monday when they travel to West Ham.
Zac has been covering Tottenham Hotspur, Major League Soccer, RBNY, the USMNT and other soccer leagues for Yahoo! Sports since 2010.
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