KANSAS CITY, Kansas – The Montreal Impact earned its third victory in a row in regular season play, topping Sporting Kansas City at Sporting Park 2-1 on Saturday night, improving the team’s road record to 3-1-2 on the season.
Warner scores winning goal
With the win, the Impact jumped into first place in the Eastern Conference with 26 points in 12 games played (8-2-2), four points ahead of SKC and one point ahead of the New York Red Bulls.
The referee awarded a questionable penalty kick to SKC in extra time of the first half after some contact near the top of the 18 yard box between Alessandro Nesta and KC’s Claudio Bieler. The Argentinean striker stepped up to the spot and hammered a low shot to the right of Perkins for his 7th of the season.
Sanna Nyassi found the equalizer in the 47th minute. After Felipe suffered a dangerous foul right near the goal line by Mechack Jerome just outside the box down the left flank, Patrice Bernier played the free-kick into the box. After a short clearance attempt, the ball fell to Nyassi whose left footed one-timer found the bottom right corner.
Then in the 53rd minute, the Impact went ahead when Collen Warner found his first career goal in MLS. Following a set piece, Warner’s right footed shot from the centre of the box beat Nielsen to his right into the bottom left corner.
Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum went back to the 4-2-3-1 formation he employed earlier on in the season, with midfielder Sanna Nyassi making his first start since May 8 at the New York Red Bulls.
Defender Jeb Brovsky was left out of the starting roster for the first time this season.
Schällibaum was ejected from the game. The Impact also played the last 15 minutes of the game with just 10 men as defender Alessandro Nesta was shown a red card in the 74th minute when he retaliated after a dangerous foul was committed byBieler against him. Both will miss the next game due to automatic one-game suspensions.
"We saw an Impact team of very high quality tonight," said Impact assistant coach Mauro Biello. "We played a very good team that is hard to beat at home and that after three tough games in just seven days including the emotional win Wednesday. And again, we came back from behind to win the game, even though we played the last 15 minutes down a man. This shows again the character of everyone on the team."
"A game winner for my first career goal is not too bad," said Collen Warner. "I am super happy and very proud of the team tonight as we fought hard to fight back."
"That’s what it takes to win games and to win championships," added Troy Perkins. "Everyone has to buy in to making those tough defensive plays and we did that well tonight, even the guys that came off the bench.”
In the 17th minute, forward Marco Di Vaio played Felipe over the Kansas City defence from the left flank, but KC keeper Jimmy Nielsen managed to beat the Brazilian to the ball after his first touch pushed the ball a little too far.
Felipe broke in alone on goal in the 39th minute from the right flank as Di Vaio played him through. The Brazilians low shot beat the keeper, but not the short side post. The ball then bounced back to the Brazilian, who played a lateral pass to his left where Di Vaio was waiting, but his one-time shot rolled past the left post.
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Paulo Nagamura from Sporting Kansas City right footed a shot from outside the box in the 70th minute that was saved by Perkins in the centre of the goal, diving to his left to help preserve his 8th win of the year.
In stoppage time of the second half, Andres Romero dribbled down the right flank before firing a shot that just sailed wide of the left post.
SKC forward Kei Kamara also got a scoring chance in the last seconds of the match but his shot went wide.
International competition for World Cup qualifying has led to a break in the MLS schedule. The Impact returns to action on Saturday, June 15 against the Crew in Columbus at 7:30pm (ET). The Impact will play its next home game versus the Houston Dynamo on June 19 at 8pm (ET) as the organization will celebrate Father’s Day.
MTL – GK-Troy Perkins; D-Hassoun Camara, Matteo Ferrari, Alessandro Nesta, Dennis Iapichino; M- Patrice Bernier, Collen Warner, Sanna Nyassi, Felipe (Jeb Brovsky 77’), Justin Mapp (Andrés Romero 73’); F- Marco Di Vaio (Andrew Wenger 89’)
Unused subs: GK-Evan Bush; M-Wandrille Lefèvre, Sinisa Ubiparipovic; F-Blake Smith
KC – GK-Jimmy Nielsen; D-Mechack Jerome, Aurélien Collin, Seth Sinovic (Josh Gardner 85’), Ike Opara; M-Peterson Joseph, Oriol Rosell, Paulo Nagamura (CJ Sapong 77’); F-Claudio Bieler, Kei Kamara, Jacob Peterson (Benny Feilhaber 62’)
Unused subs: GK-Eric Kronberg; D-Lawrence Olum, Kevin Ellis; M-Michael Thomas
KC – Bieler (PEN) 45+’
MTL – Nyassi 47’
MTL – Warner 53’
KC – Jerome 46’
KC – Opara 52’
MTL – Mapp 69’
MTL – Iapichino 90+’
MTL – Nesta 74’