Goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen #1 of Sporting Kansas City holds up a scarf to the crowd after Sporting defeated Real Salt Lake 1-0 to win the Major League Soccer game against Real Salt Lake on April 14, 2012 at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas…
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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - Claudio Bieler converted a penalty kick in the first half for his first goal in nearly two months, leading Sporting Kansas City to a 3-0 victory over the Columbus Crew on Saturday night.
Soony Saad and C.J. Sapong also scored for Kansas City (13-9-6), and Jimmy Nielsen got his 10th shutout to take a share of the league lead with Philadelphia's Zac MacMath.
Sporting moved into the Eastern Conference lead, three points ahead of New York and Montreal, who both play on Sunday. Columbus (9-14-5) dropped to 1-1 under interim manager Brian Bliss.
Bieler scored on a penalty kick in the seventh minute to put Sporting up 1-0, after Will Trapp brought down Benny Feilhaber in the penalty area, and also provided the assist on Saad's goal in the 41st. Bieler's goal was his first since July 15.
Sapong's header in the 55th made it 3-0.
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Sporting Kansas City captain Jimmy Nielsen is retiring, two days after making a pair of saves during penalty kicks against Real Salt Lake to help his team win its first Major League Soccer's championship since 2000.