KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The Montreal Impact are perfect no more, their manager will miss their next match and Sporting Kansas City suddenly look like a powerhouse again.
Claudio Bieler's fifth-minute goal broke a 197-minute scoring drought for Sporting, Graham Zusi added a late insurance tally, and Jimmy Nielsen recorded his third straight clean sheet in Saturday night's 2-0 victory over the Impact.
Impact manager Marco Schällibaum wasn't on the sideline for the final whistle, after being ejected in the 81st minute – just after Zusi's goal – for throwing water on fourth official Matthew Foerster.
Benny Feilhaber recorded his first two assists for Sporting (2-1-2), who broke a three-match winless streak with a result that wasn't as close as the scoreline.
The hosts pressured from the opening whistle, while Montreal (4-1-0) struggled to get into its counterattacking game. The result was a quick reward for Sporting.
Bieler's tally, his third in five matches since signing as Sporting's third-ever Designated Player, was a two-step tutorial in clinical play.
Kansas City's Seth Sinovic booted Patrice Bernier's giveaway downfield to Feilhaber, who weighed his options before sending the through ball to Bieler. The Argentinian striker cut the ball away from Matteo Ferrari at the top of the box, then buried his low shot inside the right post.
Aurélien Collin headed in Graham Zusi's free kick in the 11th minute but was ruled offside, and the hosts had to endure a few scary moments near the half-hour mark when forward C.J. Sapong collided with Montreal's Jeb Brovsky on a contested header.
Sapong lay face-down for several minutes and was taken off on a back board as Bobby Convey prepared to sub in, but returned in the 31st minute after treatment for back spasms.
Montreal didn't get off a shot until first-half stoppage time and didn't force a save until Nielsen had to dive to stop Marco Di Vaio's left-footed volley just before the hour mark. Still, the outcome wasn't sealed until the 80th minute, when Zusi fought off a challenge from Karl Ouimette and buried his second goal of the year.
Sporting are at home to D.C. United on Friday, April 5, while the Impact are off until they host Columbus on April 13.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Graham Zusi||Despite putting in a shift in Azteca on Tuesday, Zusi unlocked the Montreal defense and finished a tough chance|
|2||Benny Feilhaber||Set up both of Sporting's goals on similar passes – both inch-perfect|
|3||Chance Myers||On his return to the lineup, Myers was absolutely huge at both ends of the field for SKC.|