This one was a big game for both teams…
Montreal came in as the #2 team in the East, with Sporting right behind in the standings.
So it was no surprise that Sporting Park was sold out, jacked, and ready to rock.
Unfortunately, according to KC captain and goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, the team wasn’t quite as fired up as the Cauldron was.
“We are probably going to have a long chat about this here,” Nielsen lamented. “We’ve got to change. Everyone has to change the mentality, individually. What can we bring to the group?… I can handle losing if we are getting outplayed and they are playing a good game, but we can’t lose like this. This is not good enough.”
The 2-1 loss seemed to sting even more after KC took a 1-0 lead into the locker room at half, although the goal was arguably undeserved after a questionable penalty call. Montreal’s manager apparently got so fired up about the call that he unleashed some choice words on the officials at halftime, and never returned to the field after being ejected.
KC boss Peter Vermes played down the controversy. “My temper wasn’t hot at all,” he said. “It’s interesting how two games in a row now that (the opposition) get red carded here at our place for what? I have no idea. It’s just interesting to me. I’m very fine. We weren’t involved in anything. Like I said, it has nothing to do with us, so we’re fine.”
Well, I wouldn’t exactly agree that Sporting is “fine.”
Especially considering they’ve lost three of the last five home games.
One problem is that Sporting was content to continue playing negative soccer, other than Claudio Bieler, that is. Meanwhile Montreal stuck with their game plan – like everyone else in the league has – to just sit back, pack it in and wait for Sporting to counter.
But as the game wore on, Montreal slowly imposed its will.
About 2 minutes into the second half, Montreal equalized off a second chance garbage ball that the White Puma never saw. Until it rattled around in the back of the net.
All knotted up, things got scrappy.
Then the visitors scored again a few minutes later by being first to the second ball. Peterson Joseph actually had a chance to clear the ball and whiffed it. So it ended up neatly at the feet of Collen Warner, who buried the easy chance putting the visitors up 2-1.
Aurelien Collin didn’t call Joseph out per se, but you can read between the lines.
“We gave two goals away, honestly, we should have won 3-0 today because the two goals were a present for them,” said Collin. “It was a disappointment. Mistakes can happen to anybody, but we just have to make sure the same mistakes don’t happen the next game.”
Then Sporting really started laboring. Each touch turned into two or three. Everything got difficult.
Frustration seemed to mount. El Taca was visibly upset several times when his teammates didn’t take advantage of a quick restart. Kei Kamara looked like he was disgusted that his teammates weren’t playing at the same level he was.
“It feels very bad right now,” said Nielsen. “Gigantic disappointment. We came out, and in those five to seven minutes, they scored two goals and from there we were chasing and chasing, and we just weren’t good enough. This is not a good home record right now and it’s very, very, very disappointing. It’s got to change.”