Monday, June 3, 2013

Sporting KC falls 2-1 to first place Montreal Impact

Sporting Kansas City fell 2-1 to the Montreal Impact in front of a sold-out crowd at Sporting Park on Saturday night.

Sporting Kansas City opened the scoring from the penalty spot in first half stoppage time on Claudio Bieler's seventh goal of the season, third most in MLS. Sanna Nyassi equalized for Montreal in the 47th and Collen Warner earned the match-winner for the visitors in the 53rd minute of play.

In the 17th minute, Marco Di Vaio, the League's second leading scorer, chipped the ball to an unmarked Felipe Martins. Sporting KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen was quick off his line and pushed the ball away from danger moments before the attacker arrived.

Seven minutes later, Bieler settled a pass from Ike Opara and fired from 22 yards out, but it was just wide of the right post.

Kei Kamara, in his first regular season start of the season for Sporting KC, had a chance of his own in the 33rd minute when Mechack Jerome tipped the ball to him deep in the right corner of the box. However, his ensuing angled shot was saved easily by goalkeeper Troy Perkins.

Montreal's best chance of the first half came in the 39th minute when Felipe went one-on-one with Nielsen and fired a low shot that hit the near post. The rebound came to Di Vaio and was sent just wide of the left post.

The tide turned in Sporting Kansas City's favor in the first minute of stoppage time when a penalty kick was granted to Sporting KC after Allesandro Nesta brought down Bieler at the top of the box. Bieler converted the penalty kick, sending the home side into halftime with the lead.

The Montreal Impact wasted no time in the second half and found an equalizer in the 47th minute of play. Nyassi chested down the ball from a cleared corner and thumped in a low shot from outside the box that worked its way through traffic and settled into the back corner of the net.

Six minutes later, Montreal took the lead when Warner capitalized on a failed clearance, collecting the loose ball and firing an angled shot past Nielsen for his first career MLS goal.

Bieler nearly notched his second goal of the match in the 56th minute when he flicked in a corner kick from Oriol Rosell, but it fell just wide of the far post. Nine minutes later, the ball was pinballed around Montreal's box before finding Benny Feilhaber, whose bicycle kick was saved by Perkins.

The Impact were reduced to 10 men in the 74th minute of play after Nesta was shown a red card for a confrontation with Bieler. In the dying minutes of the match, Sporting KC scrambled to find an equalizer and in the 90th minute, a chance fell to Peterson but his left-footed shot was wide of the far post.

Two minutes later, Jerome nudged the ball to Bieler but his strike was right at Perkins' chest.  Sporting KC's final chance came in the fourth minute of stoppage time when Bieler crossed a low ball from the left to Kamara, but his effort was just wide of the right post.