Sporting Kansas City 2, Montreal Impact 1 | MLS Match Recap
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – This is turning into a familiar theme: another big night for Benny Feilhaber, and another home victory for Sporting Kansas City.
Kansas City's No. 10 added to his single-season highs in both goals and assists with one of each on Saturday night, and Sporting stayed unbeaten at home across all competitions in 2015 with a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Impact.
Feilhaber has four goals and five assists in his last eight MLS matches,, with six goals and 10 assists in league play. His latest big outing came as part of a strong midfield performance from Sporting, which included an assist from Roger Espinoza and Soni Mustivar's usual smothering, energetic performance in the defensive midfield spot.
Dom Dwyer also scored his sixth goal of the season for Sporting (9-3-6), who improved to 7-0-3 in league matches at Sporting Park despite seeing their MLS shutout streak end at 355 minutes. They are also 2-0 in U.S. Open Cup matches at home, going into Tuesday's quarterfinal – also at Sporting Park – against the Houston Dynamo, and tied a team record with their eighth straight home victory across all competitions.
Dwyer has scored seven goals against Montreal over the past two seasons, tying former New York Red Bulls star Thierry Henry as the player with the most career goals against the Impact.
Ignacio Piatti broke the long shutout streak with a goal in the 59th minute for Montreal (6-8-3), who have won just one of their last five matches.
It took just under four minutes for Feilhaber to give the hosts a 1-0 lead, finishing off a play that began when Espinoza stripped the ball from Marco Donadel 25 yards from goal.
Espinoza passed to winger Krisztian Nemeth, who crossed to a wide-open Feilhaber just outside the 6-yard box. He popped it into the air with his left foot, turned and used the same foot to slot the ball past Evan Bush.
In the 34th, it was Feilhaber's turn to provide the service – in spectacular fashion, from well beyond midfield. He sent a long, perfectly-placed through ball up the middle to a streaking Dwyer, who was left unmarked by center back Laurent Ciman. Dwyer raced onto the pass and one-timed the ball near-post from just left of the penalty arc for a 2-0 lead.
Piatti cut that in half shortly before the hour mark, with some shifty footwork and a cool finish.
He took a long diagonal all from Calum Mallace on the left side, juked past center back Kevin Ellis and slipped a right-footed shot past the outstretched foot of 'keeper Tim Melia and inside the far post. The Impact could not find an equalizer, though, as Sporting did not yield another shot on goal for the rest of the night.
After Tuesday's Open Cup quarterfinal, Sporting have another short turnaround before they return to league action at Real Salt Lake on Friday to conclude a string of three matches in seven days. Montreal are at home to Seattle on next Saturday..
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.