Sporting Kansas City played to a scoreless tie in the sold-out home season opening game today at Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan.
Neither Sporting nor Chicago Fire were able to score in the defensive battle. The game marks eight in a row at home where Sporting KC has been undefeated.
Despite controlling nearly 75 percent of the game's possession and outshooting the Fire 20-7, Sporting Kansas City settled with a scoreless draw in its 2013 home opener.
Eight minutes in, midfielder Oriol Rosell played a through ball to C.J. Sapong who attempted to slip it past Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson, but the 23-year-old U.S. Men's National Team player beat him to it.
Three minutes later, Chicago responded when midfielder Daniel Paladini crossed the ball to Chris Rolfe in the center and his shot glanced just wide of the far post. Two minutes later, a heavily guarded Sapong passed the ball from the top of the box to Mechack Jerome, but his right-footed strike was claimed by Johnson.
With ten minutes left in the first half, defender Aurelien Collin nearly directed his header past Johnson after winning a Graham Zusi corner kick in the air, but his attempt went just wide of the post. Two minutes later, Zusi sent in another corner that Argentinian striker Claudio Bieler sent just wide of the goal.
Two minutes into first-half stoppage time, Paulo Nagamura found space 25 yards out and struck the ball narrowly wide of the left post.
The second half commenced with a noteworthy chance from Seth Sinovic just a minute into play when he took a shot from the left edge of the box that Johnson parried away. Nagamura struck another impressive shot from 35 yards out in the 54th minute, but Johnson did well to block the attempt on goal.
Ten minutes later, a volley from Rosell cleared the crossbar. Sporting KC continued to put the pressure on the Fire in the 75th minute when Nagamura chipped the ball to Sapong, whose low shot was saved easily by Johnson. Three minutes later, second-half substitute Soony Saad drove the ball down the left flank and took a shot from 15 yards, but it was just wide of the near post.
With six minutes left in the game, Sapong evaded three Fire players, and tipped the ball to Zusi, but the midfielder's shot sailed high of the crossbar.
In the 90th minute of the match, goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen made a stellar save to keep a clean sheet when Rolfe played a through ball to an unmarked Palidini. Nielsen quickly came off of his line to make a sliding save.
Sporting Kansas City, now unbeaten in its last eight home MLS matches (including playoffs), will return to the road to face the New England Revolution at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, at Gillette Stadium. The match will be broadcast live on KSMO-TV.