Nobody remains perfect forever in soccer, as the Montreal Impact learned the hard way in Kansas City on Saturday. Sporting scored the winning goal just five minutes into their match against the league leaders, adding another goal ten minutes from the final whistle, as last season’s Eastern Conference leaders outdueled this year’s current leaders in a clash of titans at Sporting Park on Saturday.
Sporting took little time exerting control over the match, outworking the Impact down the spine. The first goal came as a result of a poor ball played through by Montreal from the left flank. Kansas City intercepted the pass in the center of the pitch, and Benny Feilhaber settled it down before finding center forward Claudio Bieler with the through ball. The Ecuadorian forward settled the pass, stopping at the edge of the box and unleashing a right-footed shot into the far side of the net past an outstretched Troy Perkins.
Montreal struggled all game against the full-pressure attack Sporting initiated from the opening whistle. The Impact, so efficient offensively throughout March, were unable to get a proper shot until first-half stoppage time and failed to challenge Kansas City keeper Jimmy Nielsen until the hour mark. As they failed to generate chances, Montreal became increasingly frustrated.
Graham Zusi’s insurance goal in the 80th minute only exacerbated the frustrations. Once again it was Feilhaber picking out the goal scorer with a pinpoint pass, and Zusi left Impact reserve center-back Karl Ouimette — once again starting for the injured Alessandro Nesta — off balance as he beat Perkins for the 2-0 finish. Soon after the second goal, Montreal head coach Marco Schallibaum was ejected from the match for spraying water at the fourth official. He will miss Montreal’s next match for his actions; after a bye week to start April, the Impact will try to return to their winning ways on April 13 against Columbus.
MONTREAL IMPACT @ SPORTING KANSAS CITY
March 30, 2013
- 5′ — SKC/Claudio Bieler (Benny Feilhaber)
- 80′ — SKC/Graham Zusi (Benny Feilhaber)
- SKC (4-3-3): Jimmy Nielsen; Seth Sinovic, Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Chance Myers; Benny Feilhaber (Peterson Joseph/85′), Oriol Rosell (Lawrence Olum/89′), Paulo Nagamura; Graham Zusi, Claudio Bieler, C.J. Sapong (Soony Saad/89′)
- MTL (4-1-4-1): Troy Perkins; Jeb Brovsky, Matteo Ferrari, Karl Ouimette, Hassoun Camara; Patrice Bernier; Justin Mapp, Felipe Martins (Andrew Wenger/62′), Davy Arnaud, Andres Romero (Sanna Nyassi/63′); Marco Di Vaio (Blake Smith/79′)