KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The expansion Montreal Impact stunned Sporting Kansas City 2-0 at Livestrong Sporting Park on Saturday night, handing the hosts their second straight loss – both shutouts – after a 7-0-0 start.
Montreal won their first road match and recorded their first back-to-back MLS wins in club history and are unbeaten in their last three matches. Sporting – who were coming off a bye week – conceded two goals in a match for the first time this year and saw their scoreless streak reach 205 minutes.
Felipe Martins’ goal at the half-hour mark put the Impact up 1-0, and Patrice Bernier iced it with a penalty kick in the 63rd minute.
Donovan Ricketts made six saves for his second straight clean sheet. Three of those stops kept Sporting from going up early, as the rested home side controlled the run of play in the opening minutes.
In the 30th minute, the Impact scored the only goal they would need. Justin Braun laid the ball off for Felipe, who settled in space and bent a left-footer past the fingertips of a diving Jimmy Nielsen and just inside the left post.
The second half saw more of the same: missed opportunities for Sporting, followed by a goal that deflated the Livestrong Sporting Park faithful and energized the Impact.
Sporting had a solid chance to equalize in the 55th, when Bobby Convey took a restart tap from Zusi and lofted a ball toward the goalmouth, but Matt Besler’s header sailed just high.
Shots by Sapong in the 55th minute and Kamara in the 58th gave Ricketts little trouble. Right after Kamara’s shot, Michael Harrington won a 50-50 ball and sent in a solid cross to Kamara, but his header was tipped over for a corner and Sporting couldn’t capitalize.
As before, it was only three minutes before Montreal made Sporting pay for the missed opportunity. Lamar Neagle cut into the penalty on a breakaway and was hauled down by Aurélien Collin in the 62nd minute. Bernier calmly stepped to the spot and converted after a feint during his run-up.
With the victory, Montreal improve to 3-5-2. They next travel to Toronto for the second leg of the Canadian Championship semifinals on May 9 before hosting the LA Galaxy in league play three days later.
Sporting KC, meanwhile, fall to 7-2-0 and have now gone more than three weeks without scoring a goal. They next travel to Chicago on May 12.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Nelson Rivas||Dynamite MLS debut at long last for big Colombian center back. Blanketed SKC's attack all evening.|
|2||Felipe||Magical strike from Brazilian to give Impact lead, put Sporting back on their heels. He was the catalyst.|
|3||Donovan Ricketts||Former MLS Goalkeeper of the Year played like it; two huge first-half stops kept Montreal in control.|
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