Montreal's attacking bite was lethal in the second half as they got two quick goals to down Sporting Kansas City 2-1 at Sportng Park.
The Impact looked extremely fluid in the first half and kept Sporting KC on their heels the whole half. But it was Sporting Kansas City who got the advantage near the end of the half.
Admittedly Claudio Bieler had a few moments where he overacted being fouled earlier in the match. However he was dragged down by his jersey at the top of the box just as extra time started in the first half. Bieler earned his penalty and proceeded to bury the kick into the left corner past a diving Perkins to give Sporting a 1-0 lead heading into halftime. It was Bieler's seventh goal of the year and his second penalty kick conversion of 2013.
Montreal leveled it quickly in the second half however. In the 47th minute a corner kick was headed out of the box by Sporting's defense but Montreal man Sanna Nyassi was there to power a goal through the right side corner out of the reach of Jimmy Nielsen to equalize the match at 1-1. It was Nyassi's first goal of the season.
Montreal scored again quickly to take the lead. In the 53rd minute a bad clearance by Ike Opara left the ball at the feet of Collen Warner who finished it to give the Impact a 2-1 lead early in the second half. It was also Warner's first goal of the season, and a very costly one to Sporting KC at that.
The frustrations of the match came to a head in the 74th minute. Alessandro Nesta got tangled up with Claudio Bieler and resorted to headbutting Bieler. He was given a straight red and Sporting earned a one-man advantage with 15 minutes to go.
Sporting gave an onslaught of offense for the rest of the game but missed chance after chance after chance. Kansas City was not able to pull back an equalizer and fell to the Impact 2-1.
It was the first time all season that Sporting had lost to a team in the top half of the Eastern Conference and the third time that Sporting had lost at home this season.
With this win Montreal climbed to the top of the Eastern Conference with 26 points, one point ahead of New York and four ahead of Sporting KC and Houston. The Impact have four games in hand against the Red Bulls and three against Sporting KC. They head to Columbus on June 15th as part of their three game road swing in all competitions.
Sporting is now tied with Houston following their draw with Columbus for the third place spot in the Eastern Conference. Sporting has a US Open Cup match with Orlando City on the 12th but doesn't return to league action until June 22nd when they travel to Dallas to take on the MLS leading FC Dallas side.