Kansas City (June 10, 2017)– Sporting KC have a recipe for success, and that’s scoring first. When scoring the first goal this year, they are 7-0-1. When they don’t, they’re 0-4. Tonight, they scored first. However, the result may not have gone as expected.
Sporting KC and Montreal Impact Play to Lively Draw
Sporting KC had already had a few chances within the first ten minutes. After the first ten minutes, Montreal were starting to push out of their defensive third, but not too far. It made for the perfect space for Sporting to attack “Route One.”
In the 24th minute, Ilie Sanchez found a run from Gerso who timed the run off the shoulder of Kyle Fisher to perfection. Sanchez’s ball over the top dropped right in front of Gerso who let it bounce a bit, held off Fisher and finished off the play. His shot almost seemed to surprise Evan Bush. The ball nestled into the bottom left-hand corner of the net, and Children’s Mercy Park erupted.
As the tweet above indicates, it’s Gerso’s sixth goal of the year, which is more than he scored with one of his previous teams in 93 total appearances. Sporting would come close numerous times after that, but the half ended 1-0 in favor of the home side.
In the second half, Montreal had a solid 15 minute spell at the start of the second half where they seemed to be really pressing. The second half was a bit more open as Montreal was searching for the equalizer. They’re best chance of that spell was when Ignacio Piatti put Ike Opara in a blender and got a really good shot away. Tim Melia could only react, pushing the shot onto the crossbar. In the madness that ensued on the rebound, Kevin Ellis got a shin to the face, ending that chance.
Montreal’s pressure extended for a solid 30 minutes, and it finally paid off as a mistake was made by subbed on Soni Mustivar played the ball back towards Melia. The pass was picked off by Matteo Mancosu who chipped the ball perfectly over the top of Melia to equalize at 1-1-1.
The fireworks weren’t done though as Chris Duvall received a straight red for this play in the 85th minute. In the stadium, and real time it looked like he swung back and got Espinoza. At second look, it doesn’t look to be the right call, and that might get rescinded later this week.
Straight red to Duvall and I'm gonna say that's pretty harsh. pic.twitter.com/zMjMINMEP4
Sporting KC were unable to capitalize on the man-advantage, although they had one big chance just at the start of stoppage time. And another ball fizzed through the area just out of the reach of three outstreched Sporting players. For how this match went, a 1-1 draw seemed fair.
Sporting KC move to 7-4-5, with 26 points on the season, still in first place in the Western Conference. No team will be able to eclipse their point total this week. Their next action is on Wednesday night, as they host Montreal Impact in their Fourth Round US Open Cup match.
Montreal Impact go to 4-5-4 on the season with 17 points. They move to ninth in the Eastern Conference. Their next match is Saturday, June 17th at Orlando City.