Sporting KC continued their strong run of form and started a busy week of play off with a 2-1 win over the Montreal Impact at Sporting Park. Kansas City was able to strike early and then absorb pressure late on while seemingly having an eye towards Tuesday and the US Open Cup against Houston.
Kansas City started the game out very well, scoring in just the fourth minute. Jacob Peterson almost capitalized on a big mistake by Montreal as a throw in went right into the middle of the box, but Peterson couldn't make good contact with the ball to put the shot on goal. Roger Espinoza won the ball just outside the box and played it wide to Krisztian Nemeth who squared a ball into the middle for Benny Feilhaber. The ball bounced up on him, but Feilhaber was able to adjust and fired a ball into the corner to make it 1-0. KC kept up some of the pressure, but really weren't creating much in the way of chances. Montreal had a good opportunity to equalize in the 31st as a through ball found Dominic Oduro behind Matt Besler. Oduro got a touch on it, but so did Tim Melia as the ball went out for a corner. A couple minutes later, KC made it 2-0. Kevin Ellis won the ball for KC near midfield and the ball came to Feilhaber. Feilhaber immediately played a through ball that split Montreal's defense with Dom Dwyer running onto it. Dwyer let the ball do all the work and his first touch came at the top of hte box when he fired the ball past Evan Bush and into the net. KC created a few other chances in the first half, the best coming from Dwyer in the 40th on the counter. Dwyer beat his defender and fired a shot on Bush. The Montreal goalkeeper made the first save, but the rebound fell right to Dwyer who tried to put it away but his second effort was also knocked away. Off the ensuing corner, Peterson had a flick header that went just wide of the far post as the two teams went into half with KC in front 2-0.
The second half saw KC continue to control the play but really not create much in the way of chances, KC seemed content to kill the game off in the heat and with their busy schedule. In the 59th minute though Montreal cut into the lead on the counter. The ball was played out wide for Ignacio Piatti who beat Kevin Ellis as the KC defender dove in for the ball. Piatti dribbled into the box and slotted a ball into the far post past Melia and into the net making it 2-1. The rest of the game saw Montreal trying to apply pressure and create chances but not really able to. KC meanwhile spent time possessing the ball trying to kill the clock off, not really creating anything on their offensive end either. In the end KC did enough to keep Montreal held off and get the win.
Wizards Man of the Match - Benny Feilhaber - A goal and an assist for KC's MVP so far this year, but there are players ahead of him in the national team pecking order. Another solid performance from the midfielder.
Player Rating - Melia 6, Abdul-Salaam 6, Ellis 6, Besler 6, Dia 6, Mustivar 7, Espinoza 7, Feilhaber 8, Peterson 5, Dwyer 6, Nemeth 5. Subs Hallisey 5, Nagamura 6, Myers 6.