By TATE STEINLAGE
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Montreal Impact fans waiting for their team’s first victory will have to wait at least one more week after the Impact gave up four goals to Sporting KC Saturday in front of 20,306 at Sporting Park.
A Dom Dwyer brace capped off a second half which resulted in three goals for the home team en route to the 4-0 finish. Dwyer silenced his critics and put the match out of reach for Montreal in the 74th minute with a goal in the run of play off an assist from fellow forward Jacob Peterson.
However, it was the forward’s score in the 86th minute that impressed the already-delighted home crowd. His header pounded the back of the net after midfielder Graham Zusi sent in a cross to the open Dwyer.
“Honestly, it’s just nice to win a game,” Dwyer said when asked about responding to his critics with his performance. “Obviously we needed three points tonight, and a couple goals to get the momentum going is nice. I’m sure it will silence them (Dwyer’s critics) for a couple of days, and then they’ll start again and find some more (critiques to talk about).”
To add salt to the Impact’s wounds, the opening goal came off of a long throw in by Matt Besler that found the head of Impact midfielder Calum Mallace and, then, the back of the net for an own goal.
Sporting KC defender Aurelien Collin was originally awarded the goal before being changed to an own goal by Mallace, but the Frenchman would get a tally of his own 40 minutes later with a curling left-footed shot past Montreal goalkeeper Troy Perkins.
“At the end of the game, all I want is to win,” Collin said with a grin on his face when asked if he wanted credit for the opening score. “I do a part (on the attack), but it’s not a big part. I scored another one to make things clear so that was good.”
With the result, Sporting KC improve to 3-1-2 and move up the standings to tie for first place in the MLS Eastern Conference. The Montreal Impact drop to 0-4-3 with just three points on the year.
“(It was an) excellent game from start to finish,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said following the match. “Scoring four goals is always nice, especially here at home.”
The first half was an early indicator of Sporting KC’s overall dominance, but it was actually Montreal that was able to set itself up with multiple goal-scoring opportunities. The first came just nine minutes in when Impact midfielder Justin Mapp was able to link up with forward Marco Di Vaio with a brilliant through ball, but Di Vaio was ruled offsides by the near assistant referee. It would be just one of three offsides called on the veteran striker in the first half.
Montreal’s persistence in countering Sporting KC nearly paid off in the 26th minute. Again it was Mapp sending a great ball past the Sporting KC defense, this time linking up with Felipe Martins. The Brazilian midfielder took the pass and went right at goalkeeper Eric Kronberg. Martins waited until the last possible moment before passing to a wide-open Di Vaio. His shot looked to be all but in, but Collin was able to slide in and clear the ball to keep the visitors off the board.
“When they got the ball on the counter attack, they tried to be fast and play for a while and find (Marco) Di Vaio, who’s very fast,” Collin said after the match about the Impact’s threatening start. “Our problem the first half hour was when we were losing the ball we were too slow to react. We corrected that at halftime — even at the end of the first half — so that’s why they could not manage our power in a physical aspect.”
The halftime adjustments were enough to stop whatever attack the Impact had remaining, and left Sporting KC with more than enough chances to run away with the game. The Montreal Impact will now look forward to a meeting with the Philadelphia Union next Saturday at home. Sporting KC will try to continue its hot streak against the New England Revolution on the road next Saturday.
Watch video highlights of the match below: