Impact edge Sporting to climb atop the East

The Montreal Impact climbed to the top of the Eastern Conference table on Saturday by claiming a 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City at Sporting Park.

Sporting went in front through Claudio Bieler's penalty kick in first-half stoppage time, but goals from Sanna Nyassi and Collen Warner inside the opening eight minutes of the second half saw the Impact march on to take all three points.

The victory sees Montreal (8-2-2) take advantage of Red Bull New York's loss to Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, bringing the Impact to 26 points on the season for a one-point lead over Mike Petke's side.

Kansas City (6-5-4) trails Montreal by four points, suffering its third loss in its last five home matches.

Sporting took the lead after being awarded a dubious penalty decision. Bieler hit the ground due to a light tug from Alessandro Nesta, but the infraction occurred at the edge of the box and easily could have been spotted outside the area. The penalty decision was ultimately upheld after referee Armando Villarreal conferred with his assistant and Bieler lashed the ensuing attempt into the back of the net.

Montreal wasted no time in leveling the score after the restart as the visitors equalized in the 47th minute. A failed clearance from a corner kick fell to Nyassi at the top of the penalty area and the Impact winger fired a low shot through traffic that left Jimmy Nielsen with chance at a save.

Six minutes later, the Impact had their first lead of the night. Sporting struggled to clear its lines and a failed clearance from Kei Kamara fell into the lap of Warner, who took advantage and slotted a shot past Nielsen.

The Impact were reduced to 10 men in the 74th minute when Nesta was sent off for an apparent headbutt on Bieler, but they were able to sustain some late pressure to escape Sporting Park with all three points in tact.