Orlando City SC struck for a pair of first-half goals on Wednesday and hung on to extend their unbeaten run to a club-record seven matches with a 2-1 victory over host Sporting Kansas City at Children's Mercy Park.
Tesho Akindele scored in the 36th minute and Benji Michel found the back of the net two minutes later as the Lions (7-2-4, 25 points) continued to roar as one of the hottest clubs in Major League Soccer.
Johnny Russell scored for the home side in the 53rd minute, but some first-half defensive miscues left Sporting Kansas City (6-5-2, 20 points) to pick up the pieces following their second straight defeat.
Sporting Kansas City had the better of the play early, but it was the Lions who opened the scoring as Akindele beat the off-side trap thanks to a line-splitting ball from Ruan before knocking it past SKC goalkeeper Tim Melia.
Orlando doubled the lead just two minutes later when Michel got on the end of a lofted ball from Nani. Michel went in one-one-one against Melia and calmly finished the play for his second goal in as many games.
Sporting Kansas City dominated play after the break and pulled one back in the 53rd minute when Gerso lofted the ball from the left flank to the back post, where Russell nodded it home to make it 2-1.
Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes sent Alan Pulido into the fray with 25 minutes left in regulation looking for the equalizing goal, while Orlando countered with Chris Mueller in the 71st minute and defender Alex De John 11 minutes from time.
The match remained on a knife edge the rest of the way as SKC had the better of the chances, but Orlando's defense held firm through five minutes of added time to claim three points.
Sporting K.C., meanwhile, has won just once in its last seven games.
--Field Level Media