Report: Impact wins 2-0 against Sporting Kansas City
KANSAS CITY, Kansas – The Montreal Impact shut out the Eastern Conference leading Sporting Kansas City by a 2-0 score, Saturday, at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, in front of 20,404 spectators, earning its first ever road win in MLS.
With the win, the Impact is the first team to beat KC at home this season, having conceded only three goals in its four previous matches.
GOAL : Felipe's strike surprises Nielsen
The Impact opened the scoring in the 30th minute following a two one touch passes from Jeb Brovsky and Justin Braun that found midfielder Felipe in midfield. Felipe then hammered a booming left-footed blast from about 30 yards out that curled to beat goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen. The Brazilian’s first ever MLS goal was assisted by forward Justin Braun, his first assist of the season and the 13th of his career.
Midfielder Patrice Bernier, making his first start since March 31 and wearing the captain’s armband for the matchup versus Sporting, doubled the Impact’s lead in the 64th minute. He buried a penalty shot to his left after a quick stutter step to score his first goal in MLS, beating the keeper going the opposite direction. The referee pointed to the spot after midfielder Lamar Neagle was taken down in the box by SKC defender Aurélien Collin.
“I am very pleased that we have earned our first win on the road in a league where it’s difficult to be successful away from home,” noted Bernier. “It’s an important victory for us against a team that is doing well this season. This game is proof that we have a lot of character. I am happy to be back on the pitch and to have contributed to the win.”
“We are very happy with the result because we knew it was going to be a tough game,” said Felipe. “It was a nice goal, but it was a team effort that secured the win.”
“We put a good lineup on the field tonight and everyone understands the position that we are in,” said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. “It was a challenge for some of our players who haven’t had the chance to play that much this season to do well here and everyone played well. We knew we were capable of doing well in Kansas City. We have to appreciate this win and all the hard work that was done tonight.”
Collin almost spoiled the shutout bid after his header hit the crossbar in the 90th minute following a free-kick.
The Impact has not allowed a goal in its last three games, including a 0-0 draw versus Toronto FC in the Canadian Championship, totaling 288 minutes played.
Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts recorded his third consecutive shutout, finishing the game with four saves on 22 shots in his direction.
Ricketts, who has played all 10 games for the Impact this season, made a few key saves in the first half. In the 15th minute, he pushed the ball over the bar, diving to his left, when KC forward C.J. Sapong fired a half volley from just inside the box. Then in the 27th minute, the Jamaican dove to his right to stop midfielder Graham Zusi’s low booming shot from about 35 yards out.
Defenders Nelson Rivas and Hassoun Camara, both of whom have been sidelined since training camp with injuries, along with forward Eduardo Sebrango, made their first career starts in MLS.
Impact captain Davy Arnaud entered the game in the 70th minute, replacing Sebrango, making his 250th career appearance in MLS.
The return leg of the home and away aggregate goal semifinal series of the 2012 Amway Canadian Championship will take place Wednesday, at BMO Field in Toronto, at 8pm (Sportsnet East, TVA Sports, illico web, illico mobile).
The Impact will then return home to face the 2011 MLS Cup Champion LA Galaxy at Olympic Stadium on Saturday, May 12, at 4pm.
Season tickets are still available online at impactmontreal.com or by calling 514-328-3668 while individual tickets available through the Admission network (admission.com / 514-790-1245).
Highlights: SKC 0, MTL 2
MTL – GK-Donovan Ricketts, D-Jeb Brovsky, D-Nelson Rivas (Matteo Ferrari 62’), D-Hassoun Camara, D-Tyson Wahl, Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Andrew Wenger 84’), Felipe, (c) Patrice Bernier, Lamar Neagle; F – Justin Braun, Eduardo Sebrango (Davy Arnaud 70’)
Unused Subs: GK – Greg Sutton; D – Calum Mallace; M – Bryan Arguez; F – Andrew Wenger, Sanna Nyassi
SKC – GK – Jimmy Nielsen; D - Julio César (Paulo Nagamura 79’), Michael Harrington, Chance Myers, Aurélien Collin, Matt Besler; M - Roger Espinoza, Bobby Convey, Graham Zusi; F - Kei Kamara, C.J. Sapong (Teal Bunbury 66’)
MTL – Felipe (Justin Braun) 30’
MTL – Bernier 64’
SKC – Cesar 35’
MTL – Rivas 36’
MTL - Bernier 45’
MTL - Ubiparipovic 53’
MTL - Wahl 77’