Handshake-Gate? Sparks fly between Sporting Kansas City and Montreal Impact after latest intense battle

Meetings between Kansas City and Montreal sure are getting boisterous.

After the Impact secured a 2-1 away win, Le Journal de Montréal’s Dave Lévesque reported a claim by assistant coach Mauro Biello that Sporting KC head coach Peter Vermes refused to shake his hand at the final whistle, reportedly saying, “[Expletive] off, you guys are classless.”

“I think it came about through back and forth between the benches,” midfielder Collen Warner said of the general turmoil that broke out. “Once [Marco] Di Vaio got subbed off, there was some more talking going on – and I’m not exactly sure what exactly was said or anything, but there’s not too many bad feelings on the field, to be honest.”

FULL MATCH RECAP: Impact stun Sporting with dramatic comeback win

Someone clearly forgot to tell Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum, who is now a perfect 2-for-2 in the ejections department at Sporting Park. Schällibaum took issue with a penalty conceded by Montreal defender Alessandro Nesta, who later saw red himself after a disorderly battle with Claudio Bieler throughout the game.

“If you look closely before the foul – and even many plays before that – he hits Alessandro a number of times,” Patrice Bernier told MLSsoccer.com by phone. “It’s got to go both ways. I agree that maybe Alessandro does something, but it stems from something else. It was a huge battle that was obvious from the start.”

Yet despite the obstacles, the Impact did it again: they rallied, this time with opportune goals from Sanna Nyassi and Collen Warner – the latter’s first in MLS – to ultimately claim victory in a most meaningful game.

OPTA CHALKBOARD: How Impact made the most of their chances

Against a serious Eastern Conference rival, the Canadian champions have picked up arguably their biggest win yet this season in MLS to regain the top of the conference standings. The one-point margin may be slim, but another advantage lies elsewhere: the four games they have in hand over second-placed New York Red Bulls.

“I’m happy for Collen and for Sanna, who haven’t played a lot of late, but they brought freshness and a win,” Bernier said. “It shows how deep our group is.”

Olivier Tremblay covers the Montreal Impact for MLSsoccer.com