Central FC, Sporting Kansas City battle to 2-2 draw

Action from the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League match between host Central FC and Sporting Kansas City (blue jersey) on August 16, 2016, in Couva, Trinidad & Tobago. (Photo: Caribbean Action Images) 

COUVA, Trinidad & Tobago – Sporting Kansas City (0W-1D-0L, 1 point) scored the first and last goals to play host Central FC (0-1-1, 1) to a 2-2 draw in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday at Ato Boldon Stadium.

With the result, the idle Vancouver Whitecaps (1-0-0, 3) kept the top spot in Group C on the strength of their 1-0 win at Central in Week One.

Trinidad & Tobago international Kenwyne Jones made his Central FC and SCCL debut, after his loan from Atlanta United was made official on August 13.

The 31-year-old, who played in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead in the 56th minute. After taking a neat feed in the right side of the box from Marcus Joseph, Jones beat goalkeeper Jon Kempin from six-yards out with a right-footed shot.

Joseph had equalized at 1-1 two minutes earlier. A determined Sean de Silva saw his initial effort be blocked by defender Saad Abdul-Salaam. The Central midfielder then poked the rebound towards the edge of the six-yard box. As Abdul-Salaam tried to shield the ball for Kempin to gather, the clever de Silva jabbed it to the right, where Joseph slammed home from four yards.

SKC went ahead in the 51st minute, when a deflection off Seth Sinovic found the back of the net. The midfielder received a pass played into the left side of the box by Brad Davis. As he looked to flick it backwards, a defender came flying in for a tackle, only for the ball to hit off Sinovic and ricochet into the back of the net.

Kevin Ellis struck for the game’s last goal in the 70th minute, taking a Davis pass in the right side of the box and rounding goalkeeper Javon Sample, before knocking the ball home.

Sample was outstanding throughout the evenng. In the first half, he thwarted Roger Espinoza with a diving save. Early in the second half, the 21-year-old recovered to block a Davis effort that appeared destined for the goal.

Then, with four minutes remaining in normal time, Sample denied Diego Rubio Kostner at close range.

Jones thought he scored the game’s first goal in the 41st minute with a header, but referee Henry Bejarano ruled that he fouled Kempin prior to the attempt.

Group C returns to action on August 23 as Vancouver hosts Kansas City.