Match report: Impact falls 2-0 in Kansas City

Bieler, Zusi score for Sporting KC in Impact's first loss

KANSAS CITY, Kansas – The Montreal Impact lost its first game of the season on Saturday, falling to Sporting Kansas City 2-0 on the road, at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

SKC took an early lead - in the 5th minute - when midfielder Benny Feilhaber found striker Claudio Bieler with a long through ball. KC’s designated player took one touch to his right before firing a low shot, far post past Troy Perkins diving to his left.

Sporting doubled its lead in the 80th minute when midfielder Graham Zusi fought his way into the box before chipping Perkins as the Impact keeper came out to challenge the shooter.

The Impact’s best chance came in the 60th minute when a deep ball was played by Patrice Bernier towards the top of the box. Captain Davy Arnaud won an aerial challenge, tipping it over to forward Marco Di Vaio who side-volleyed a blast towards goal that was knocked down by KC keeper Jimmy Nielsen diving to his right.

Impact midfielder Felipe became the second Impact player to surpass the 3,000 minutes played plateau in MLS, following captain Davy Arnaud.

Justin Mapp returned to the starting lineup, filling in for Andrea Pisanu in midfield. Pisanu did not make the trip to Kansas City due to a knee injury.

Midfielder Blake Smith, the Impact’s first pick in this year’s SuperDraft, was named to the 18-man roster for the game for the first time in his career, and made his debut in the 79th minute.

Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum was ejected from the game in the 81st minute.

Post-game comments

"We started the game pretty well, but then we gave up a goal in the 5th minute" said Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum. "We didn't create many scoring chances during the game. We still got to see our team fight against a very strong side. It's a first loss for us this season and now we will take advantage of the two week break to come back strong. I have no doubt we will bounce back."

“It was a great atmosphere and the fans were on top of us," said team captain Davy Arnaud. It’s an even tougher place when we give up a goal right at the beginning of the game. Kansas City played well today and they were the better team.”

"We made a few mistakes early in the game and we paid for them," said midfielder Patrice Bernier. "We tried everything we could but we weren't dangerous enough. We have to find a solution to create more scoring chances through different attacking options."

Other highlights

Sporting came close around the 15 minute mark when defender Aurelien Collin got onto the end of a free-kick with a header, flicking the ball over Perkins, but the goal was called back as the Frenchman made his run from an offside position.

Then eight minutes later, Bieler found space again near the top of the box when he was played through with a short pass, but he sent his shot soaring over goal.

The second half started in much the same way as the first, with the best chance coming to KC defender Chance Myers, who after dribbling to the 18, fired his shot wide, to the short side, as Perkins dove to his left.

In the 71st minute, Bieler hammered one towards the far post from the left side of the box that just curled wide of the Impact goal.

Next Game

The Impact has a bye-week next weekend as the originally scheduled matchup versus the Galaxy in LA was moved to October 16 due to CONCACAF Champions League commitments for the 2012 MLS Cup champions.

The team will host the Columbus Crew at 2pm (ET) on Saturday, April 13 in its first game of the season at Stade Saputo. Single game tickets for all of the team’s home games are available via the Admission network (admission.com / 1-855-790-1245) or via the Stade Saputo ticket office (Monday to Friday 9am-5pm).

2013 season tickets are still available in seven categories, at a cost of $295, $385, $475, $580, $770 and $1070. You can assure your spot for the 2013 season by contacting the Impact’s sales and services team at 514-328-3668. Show your support for your club by paying for your tickets using your Montreal Impact BMO credit card.

Lineups

MTL – GK-Troy Perkins; D-Jeb Brovsky, Matteo Ferrari, Karl W. Ouimette, Hassoun Camara; M- Patrice Bernier, Andrés Romero (Sanna Nyassi 63’) , Felipe (Andrew Wenger 62’), Davy Arnaud, Justin Mapp; F-Marco Di Vaio (Blake Smith 79’)

Unused subs: GK-Evan Bush; M-Wandrille Lefèvre, Calum Mallace, Collen Warner

KC – GK-Jimmy Nielson; D- Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic; M-Paulo Nagamura, Oriol Rosell (Lawrence Olum 89’), Benny Feilhaber (Peterson Joseph 85’); F-C.J. Sapong (Soony Saad 89’), Graham Zusi, Claudio Bieler

Unused subs: GK-Eric Kronberg; D-Ike Opara, Mechack Jerome; F-Bobby Convey

Goals
KC – Bieler (Feilhaber) 5’
KC – Zusi (Feilhaber) 80’

Cautions
KC – Collin 49’
KC – Sinovic 53’
MTL – Felipe 55’

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