Sporting Kansas City may remain unbeaten in CONCACAF Champions League play, but Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Real Esteli opened the door for its Group 2 opposition.
Kansas City now sits atop the group with a 2-0-1 record, four points up on Olimpia, which has a game in hand. Only the winner of the three-team group advances.
Both teams scored off corner kicks as Jacob Peterson negated Rudel Calero's opener for the Nicaraguan visitors, who at 0-2-1 were eliminated with the draw.
Real's approach to the match was evident from the start, as the visitors put heavy numbers behind the ball and simply attempted to absorb Kansas City's pressure.
Claudio Bieler had one dangerous shot denied by goalkeeper Justo Lorente and Graham Zusi put another golden opportunity over the bar as Sporting failed to break through before halftime. Early in the second half, Zusi slotted a shot inches past the post.
In the 54th minute, Kansas City was punished for its missed opportunities. Connecting with a Samuel Wilson corner kick, Calero leaped and nodded a shot past Eric Kronberg to give Real an unlikely lead.
Sporting finally broke through in the 78th minute. Four minutes after coming on, a wide-open Peterson met Zusi's low corner kick at the near post and prodded a shot past Lorente.
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- Sporting Kansas City
- Rudel Calero
- Jacob Peterson