Montreal, QC – Two penalty kicks helped Sporting Kansas City come from behind to claim a 3-1 win over the Montreal Impact at the Stade Saputo on Wednesday.
Montreal went in front thanks to Patrice Bernier in the 49th minute, but Kei Kamara and Graham Zusi converted from the spot to overturn the deficit before Jacob Peterson put the winning result beyond any doubt with a strike in the 82nd minute.
The win snaps a two-game losing skid for Sporting, catapulting the club into second place in the Eastern Conference with 32 points on the season.
Montreal has lost three in a row, remaining third from bottom in the East on 18 points.
The Impact dominated the opening period but failed to find a goal for their efforts.
A giveaway from the Sporting midfield nearly helped give the home side the lead in the fifth minute of play. Davy Arnaud found Marco Di Vaio on the left side of the box and the Italian threaded a pass to Felipe Martins but he was unable to beat Jimmy Nielsen with his shot.
One minute later, Di Vaio was looking dangerous again as he latched on to a through ball to break free on goal. He shrugged off a challenge and opted to pass instead of going himself, sliding a ball in front of goal that was narrowly out of reach for his fellow Impact attackers trailing at the back post.
Di Vaio once again came close to orchestrating the opener, nodding a free kick on goal with a brilliant header midway through the first half. Nielsen was at the right spot at the right time, reaching up into the upper corner to collect the shot.
Arnaud got in on the action moments later as he made a late run to the back post to get on the end of a low cross from Justin Mapp. The delivery was slightly behind Arnaud, and the captain failed to adjust as he scuffed his shot wide of the post.
Mapp also had a golden opportunity to break the deadlock when Di Vaio played the winger through on goal in the 38th minute. The 27-year-old hammered a shot on goal with his favored left foot, but Nielsen was equal to the task, producing a fine kick-save to deny the MLS veteran.
Montreal was finally rewarded for its dominance when it opened the scoring four minutes into the second half. Martins broke free on the right flank and played a low ball across the box where Bernier was waiting to slot home the delivery.
The lead was short-lived as Sporting got on level terms eight minutes later. Bernier was flagged for handling the ball in the box and Kamara converted the ensuing penalty kick to tie the match.
Sporting went in front 15 minutes from time as referee Sorin Stoica awarded the visitors another penalty after Arnaud had brought down substitute Soony Saad in the box. Zusi stepped up to take Sporting's second penalty of the night, burying the shot to right side of goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.
Peterson wrapped up the affair eight minutes from time as he took a cross from Roger Espinoza and hammered a shot that needed a deflection to get past Ricketts.
Sporting (10-5-2) returns to action Saturday with a home match against the Houston Dynamo, while Montreal (5-11-3) is off until Sunday when it faces the Columbus Crew at the Stade Saputo.