MONTREAL, Quebec – The Montreal Impact lost 3-1 (halftime 0-0) to Sporting Kansas City Wednesday night, at Stade Saputo. Patrice Bernier scored the only goal for the home side.
The Impact opened the scoring in the 49th minute when defender Zarek Valentin played a through ball into the box down the right flank to Felipe. The Brazilian midfielder played a low ball across the box to a trailing Patrice Bernier, who beat KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen to the opposite post, tying him for the team lead with four goals, while ending a 251 minute goal scoring drought for his team.
Postgame comments vs KC
Sporting tied it up in the 57th minute when a penalty shot was called for a handball in the box. Forward Kei Kamara stepped up and fired a high shot down the middle as Impact goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts dove to his right.
Then the referee pointed to the spot for a second time in the 75th minute for a holding infraction in the box. This time Rickets guessed right, but Zusi beat the Jamaican with a perfect shot. This was the 7th penalty shot called against the Impact this season, tops in MLS.
A cross into the box from the left flank found substitute Jacob Peterson, whose shot deflected off of a defender and slipped past Ricketts to his left, short side, for KC’s third marker of the game in the 82nd minute.
“We got a lead. The first half we push hard and ultimately we get a lead early in the second,” said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. “And then the game goes haywire. This loss hurts. Guys are disappointed as they put a lot into tonight’s game. I told them that if we play the way we did tonight, we will win a lot of games.”
“We came out in the second half and we got the goal,” said Impact captain Davy Arnaud. “We didn’t stop. Our team wears its heart on its sleeves and we knew we should have been up at halftime. And then we all know what happened after that.”
“We deserved to win,” said forward Marco Di Vaio. “If there was one team that deserved it more it was us. I couldn’t score in the first half. We deserved better.”
The Impact started the game strongly, creating a few opportunities in the first half. In the 5th minute, team captain Davy Arnaud intercepted the ball about 40 yards from goal. He played the ball off to the left, where forward Marco Di Vaio stopped it and flicked it through to midfielder Felipe from just outside the box. His run into the area left him alone with the goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, who stopped the Brazilian’s shot from point blank range.
One minute later, midfielder Justin Mapp played a through ball down the left flank that sprung Di Vaio in alone on the goalkeeper. His shot from about 15 yards out went wide far post.
In the 23rd minute, a short give and go from Bernier to Felipe off of a free-kick led to a cross by the Brazilian to the short post. Di Vaio’s powerful header was caught by Nielsen going short side.
Then two minutes later, Mapp broke down the left flank and put a low cross to the far post to Arnaud who was trailing the play. His shot to the opposite post rolled just wide.
A tic-tac-toe play from Di Vaio and Felipe sprung Mapp down the left flank in the 38th minute, but Mapp’s left-footed shot from a bad angle was tipped wide by the keeper as he extended his left leg.
During the game, Felipe and Arnaud were shown their 5th yellow cards of the season, and will miss the next match due to an automatic one-game suspension.
The Impact will play a second consecutive game at Stade Saputo, against the Columbus Crew this Sunday, at 7:30pm (ET). Group packages, as well as 3 or 6 game partial plans are available for the 2012 season by calling 514-328-3668.
The Impact U21 team will play its next game this Sunday at College St-Jean-Vianney, at 2pm, versus the Mississauga Eagles FC, looking to improve on its second place standing in the Canadian Soccer League at 5-1-3.
Meanwhile, the club will organize its first free open house at Stade Saputo this Thursday, from 5 to 8pm.
Highlights: MTL 1, SKC 3
MTL: GK – Donovan Ricketts; D – Zarek Valentin, Shavar Thomas, Hassoun Camara, Jeb Brovsky (Eduardo Sebrango 80’); M – Davy Arnaud, Felipe, Collen Warner, Justin Mapp (Justin Braun 87’), Patrice Bernier; F – Marco Di Vaio (Sanna Nyassi 71’)
Subs not used: GK – Evan Bush; D – Tyson Wahl, Karl W. Ouimette; M – Lamar Neagle;
SKC: GK – Jimmy Nielsen; D – Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic; M – Roger Espinoza, Graham Zusi, Paulo Nagamura (Peterson Joseph 86’); F – Teal Bunbury (Jacob Peterson 45’), Kei Kamara (Soony Saad 67’), C.J. Sapong
Unused Subs: GK – Eric Kronberg; D – Korede Aiyegbusi, Kevin Ellis; M – Konrad Warzycha
MTL – Bernier (Felipe, Valentin) 49’
SKC – Kamara 57’ (PK)
SKC – Zusi 75’ (PK)
SKC – Peterson 82’ (Roger Espinoza, Soony Saad)
SKC – Zusi 16’
MTL – Felipe 36’
MTL – Warner 67’
MTL – Arnaud 69’
SKC - Sinovic 90’