C.J. Sapong produced a brace to lead Sporting Kansas City to a 2-1 victory over Toronto FC at BMO Field on Saturday.
The former James Madison University striker scored in the 18th and 53rd minutes of the match, both from his head, to lift Sporting into a tie with Red Bull New York for first place in the Eastern Conference with 48 points apiece.
The opening goal came from a splendid bit of teamwork as Graham Zusi picked out Dom Dwyer with a long ball to the back post. The Toronto defense was caught ball watching as Dwyer headed the delivery back in front of goal for an unmarked Sapong to turn into the back of the net from close range.
Toronto was gifted an equalizer in the 38th minute when Jimmy Nielsen sent a misplaced pass in the direction of Aurelien Collin. Alvaro Rey picked up the loose ball and centered it to Darel Russell, who fired a low shot past Nielsen from outside the penalty area.
But Sporting wasted no time in restoring its advantage as Sapong eclipsed his mark to get on the end of a Chance Myers cross and send a diving header past Joe Bendik eight minutes into the second period.
Toronto was left no way back into the contest when Steven Caldwell was sent off for a rash challenge on Josh Gardner in the 86th minute.
The Reds are winless in their last eight league contests, leaving the club second from bottom in the East on 23 points.