Sporting Kansas City Extends Clean Sheet Streak Over Montreal Impact

The return of national team stars Graham Zusi and Matt Besler helped see Sporting Kansas City to a 3rd consecutive clean sheet in which Montréal Impact never really seriously troubled keeper Jimmy Nielsen. Montréal came into Sporting Park Saturday as the hottest team in MLS, winning 4 of 4 matches to start the season and were sitting atop the Eastern Conference.

It was a dream start for Sporting KC though when in the 5th minute Benny Feilhaber slipped a through ball up to Claudio Bieler who took one deft touch of the ball to set himself up and clinically put it into the back of the net to make it 1-0 Sporting KC, his 3rd goal of the season and grabbing the mark for 2nd fastest to be scored in Sporting Park. The goal also marked Feilhaber’s 1st assist on the year.

Sporting KC were attacking early and only a few minutes later it could have been 2-0 when Aurelien Collin headed it past Montréal keeper Troy Perkins

Mar 30, 2013; Kansas City, KS, USA; Sporting Kansas City forward Graham Zusi (8) celebrates after scoring against the Montreal Impact during the second half at Sporting Park. Sporting Kansas City defeated Montreal 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

off of a Graham Zusi freekick. Collin was ruled to be just offside by the side judge and the goal was disallowed.

The pressure did not stop for Montréal there though, and Sporting KC’s passing looked on key on the night, including several through balls that were just tapped away by Montréal defender Karl Ouimette. One such display saw Zusi play through two defenders and slip the ball over to Bieler alone in front of goal for his 2nd of the night but it wasn’t to be as he sent it over the top of the goal.

Sporting KC experienced some considerable fear in the 28th minute when CJ Sapong caught an inadvertent elbow in the back while going up for a header with Jeb Brovsky and came off on a stretcher with back spasms. Sapong came back on a few minutes later after the spasms stopped and played on, which all of Sporting Park was happy to see.

Other than a few forays forward from Montréal the attacking moves in the first half were controlled by Sporting KC and the teams went into the locker room with a 1-0 scoreline to Sporting KC.

Montréal came out with more intent in the second half and achieved a few corners and shots throughout the half but were unable to really challenge Nielsen until the 60th minute when an unexpected ball landed at Marco Di Vaio’s feet and nearly caught Nielsen off-guard, but he was able to punch it away to safety.

Sporting KC’s defender Chance Myers looked the man to score on several occasions with near misses coming throughout the half, but if chances similar to these continue Myers looks sure to score his 1st career goal in 2013.

The final scoring came in the 80th minute when Feilhaber comes through with another assist to Graham Zusi who held off a defender and chipped a low ball over Perkins as he went to the ground in front of him to make it 2-0 to Sporting KC. After the goal Montréal manager Marco Schällibaum apparently threw water in frustration at a sideline official and was sent to the locker room.

Sporting Kansas City takes all 3 points from the match with a 2-0 win in front of a sold out home crowd, as well as extends their MLS leading statistic of longest time without giving up a goal to 339 minutes.

Topics: MLS, Montreal Impact, Soccer, Sporting Kansas City

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