Sporting Kansas City easily disposed of a struggling Montreal Impact in Major League Soccer on Saturday.
Two goals from Dom Dwyer and one from Paulo Nagamura combined with a red card for Collen Warner to compound a miserable week for the Impact, who lost to FC Edmonton in the Canadian Championship in midweek.
Frank Koplas’ side managed a first win of 2014 two weeks ago against the Philadelphia Union, but their delight was tempered by their shock midweek defeat to the North American Soccer League minnows.
Kansas City, meanwhile, have now lost just once in their last eight matches, in controversial circumstances to the New England Revolution in their last away game.
They regained momentum with a comprehensive victory over the Columbus Crew a week ago, and sit top of the Eastern Conference with games in hand over their nearest rivals.
The Wizards will almost certainly lose star men Graham Zusi and Matt Besler to Team USA’s pre-World Cup training camp this week, placing extra importance on this win.
Montreal were easily beaten in the reverse fixture last month, and their poor start to the season always looked likely to continue here.
Neither team were able to gain a foothold early on in a scrappy counter, but in the 17th minute visitors Sporting were handed the advantage.
A long Besler throw-in caused havoc in the Impact area, and when Troy Perkins parried, Oriol Rosell tried to scramble the ball over the line. Warner desperately blocked with his arm, leaving referee Jair Marrufo no choice but to award the penalty and dismiss the 25-year-old.
Dom Dwyer took the spot kick, making no mistake as he fired low to the goalkeeper’s right for his fifth of the season.
Down to 10 men, the frustrated hosts struggled to cope with Kansas City, leading to a second goal.
Chance Myers’ cross from the right found its way to Nagamura on the far side of the area, who bundled an effort beyond Perkins.
The strike was met with jeers from a home crowd that had been patient up to that point, and their mood didn’t improve as Sporting began to spray the ball around with relative ease.
Justin Mapp tried to muster a response for Montreal, but his magical individual run culminated in a tame shot that Eric Kronberg dealt with comfortably.
The Impact improved slightly after the break, but could have fallen further behind when Perkins did well to divert Seth Sinovic’s deflected cross over the bar.
The Wizards had another opportunity to make it three in the 55th minute when Zusi found himself in the clear, but the United States winger delayed too long and saw the goalkeeper take the ball off his toe.
Nine minutes later though, Dwyer got his second to put the result beyond any doubt. The Englishman raced onto an Antonio Dovale through-ball and hammered a powerful left-footed finish into the far bottom corner.
With the game won, the visitors appeared happy to keep possession, though they almost added another with eight minutes remaining.
A Kansas City cross dropped for Claudio Bieler just inside the area, but as he rifled an effort towards goal, Jeb Brovsky superbly through himself at the ball to block.
The Argentine’s teammate Sinovic should have scored moments later from Soony Saad’s centre, but with the goal gaping, he fired over.
There was time for a late flurry of activity in Sporting’s half, with Montreal’s one bright spark Mapp curled just wide after making space for a shot on his left, but that was as good as it got for the Canadians, as they fell to their fifth defeat of the season.
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