Sunday, September 23, 2012

Can I Get that Two Hours Back?

Before the two game trip to the East Coast, most Sporting fans probably would have been quite happy taking 4 points from the two games.  But after the win in New York on Wednesday confidence was high heading into the game in Montreal yesterday.  The game yesterday at Saputo Stadium though was anything but exciting compared to the New York game.  Quality chances for both Sporting and the Impact were at a premium and neither side really looked likely to be the winner.

KC came out and pressured early on, and the Impact struggled to deal with that pressure, but KC couldn't do much with the chances they created.  In the 12th minute KC had one of their best chances of the game.  A Michael Harrington cross was blocked into the path of Graham Zusi, who from the top of the big fired on goal, but his shot curled just wide of the far post as the scores stayed level.  KC continued to pressure and another cross from the right hand side found Kei Kamara in the box, but Kamara put the shot right at Troy Perkins, and was offside anyway.  In the 25th minute, the Impact had a good opportunity to take the lead as Justin Mapp collected a short free kick and dribbled to the top of the box without a KC defender shutting him down.  Mapp's shot though went wide of KC's near post.  The Impact continued to get into the game and Felipe Martins tried to take advantage of the wet surface from the rain when he fired a shot from outside the box, but Jimmy Nielsen knocked down the first shot and jumped on the rebound.

The level of play in the second half didn't go up any in the second half, as the teams still struggled to create scoring chances.  Both sides had a few half chances, but neither side really tested the keeper.  In the 68th minute some poor defending by KC almost cost them.  A cross to the back post found 2 unmarked Montreal players.  Seth Sinovic got a head that knocked it away enough that a free header ended up falling to Davy Arnaud instead.  Arnaud ended up firing a shot just wide of Nielsen's post, leaving the score 0-0.  The lack of chances attempting to test from distance on teh slick surface was a bit of a surprise in the game, bu in the 75th, Jacob Peterson tried one for KC and forced a decent save from Perkins.  Back down the field came the Impact winning a corner.  From there, Marco Di Vaio almost beat Nielsen directly from the corner.  Nielsen though was able to punch the ball clear.

The game continued to slowly move towards it's conclusion, but things got interesting in the 89th minute.  As the Impact were getting ready to restart the play, referee, Jorge Gonzalez came over to the sidelines and brandished a red card to Peterson who had subbed out of the game 6 minutes early.  Peterson was apparently dismissed for foul and abusive language towards the referee.  To be fair to Peterson, Gonzalez had been having a piss poor game, making some odd calls, not calling things at other times.  But Peterson needs to keep his mouth shut at the same time.  He'll now miss the big game on Friday against the Fire because of that red card.  Before the final whistle, Nielsen was called on one last time off a free kick from Di Vaio who found Matteo Ferrari.  Ferrari's header was right on target, but right at Nielsen who had to punch the ball away.  KC endured high pressure through the end of the game and leave Canada with a point.

Wizards Man of the Match - Jimmy Nielsen
- There wasn't a lot to this game offensively from either side, but Nielsen came up with saves when he needed to get his 13th shutout of the season.

Player Ratings - Nielsen 7, Sinovic 6, Besler 6, Olum 5, Harrington 4, Cesar 5, Rosell 6, Zusi 5, Kamara 5, Sapong 4, Peterson 5.  Subs Nagamura 5, Myers NR, Joseph NR.

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