Sporting KC beats Union to win Eastern Conference

Associated Press Modified: October 24, 2012 at 10:17 pm •  Published: October 24, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Kansas (AP) — C.J. Sapong scored the winning ahead goal off a Kei Kamara pass Wednesday as Sporting Kansas City beat the Philadelphia Union 2-1 to clinch its second straight Eastern Conference regular-season title.

Jacob Peterson opened the scoring after entering the game as a first-half injury substitute for Sporting, which needed only a draw to secure the conference title.

Antoine Hoppenot equalized early in the second half for the Union, but Sapong answered when Kamara found him open on the wing in the 82nd minute. Sapong's shot past Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath found the back of the net for his ninth goal of the year.

The victory pushed Sporting's club-record point total to 63, six clear of second-place D.C. United, which has one game remaining in the regular season this weekend.

Sporting KC will carry a 12-match unbeaten streak into the two-leg conference semifinals, which start on the road Nov. 3 or 4 against an opponent yet to be determined. The return match is scheduled for Nov. 7 at Livestrong Sporting Park.