Facing their next two games on the road, Sporting Kansas City wanted to walk away with three points in their game against Montreal at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday. Sporting Kansas City dominated this game from the initial kick. It didn’t matter which Sporting player was going against which Montreal player. Sporting had the better player in every matchup without exception. Krisztian Nemeth scored a hat trick and Johnny Russell put in two goals. Sporting was just a few minutes away from a shutout but that was the only negative on the day for Sporting.
Johnny Russell curved in a beautiful shot from just outside the box in the 10th minute to give Sporting a 1-0 lead. Krisztian Nemeth had his shot blocked and had the ball come back to him. Nemeth stepped aside for Russell’s shot to get Sporting on the board first
Gerso Fernandes beat the Montreal defenders seemingly at will to give Sporting several opportunities at the goal. Montreal defenders will see Gerso in their nightmares for some time. In the 29th minute Gerso beat his defender and centered the ball to Johnny Russell who shot just wide to the right.
Montreal seemed to be satisfied playing defense but Sporting was able to take the ball away almost whenever they wanted. Sporting was by far the better team on this day and was constantly attacking.
Felipe Gutierrez fed a running Gerso Fernandes who led Krisztian Nemeth past the keeper on the right. Nemeth directed the ball into an open goal to give Sproting Kansas City a 2-0 lead.
Gerso made a run in extra time in the first half and centered the ball that was directed into the goal by Felipe Gutierrez. The goal gave Sporting a 3-0 lead at the half.
Peter Vermes was pleased with how his club played in the first half. As usual though, Vermes told the team to play like the score was 0-0 because Montreal is a very good team.
Sporting is such a difficult and frustrating team to play. They constantly put pressure on their opponent. They never pack it in and play defense. When their opponent has the ball deep in their own territory, Sporting is charging after them to try to get the ball back as close as possible to the goal so they have less field to travel to score. It’s quite impressive.
Things continued in the second half where they left off in the first. Johnny Russell scored his second goal in the 50th minute by just turning around the one defender on the right side between him and the goal and beat the keeper to the left with a simple shot along the ground.
In the 68th minute, Johnny Russell found Krisztian Nemeth in front of the goal with nobody around for an easy tap in. Russell beat a defender to the ball on the left side of the goal and then centered the ball past the keeper coming to him. The goal was the easiest one of the game. The goal put Sporting up 5-0 and it appeared to be getting easier and easier for Sporting to get chances and capitalize.
In the 78th minute, Montreal was poor with ball handling once again. Gianluca Busio stole the ball away from the Montreal defender in the box and only had to beat the keeper. Busio showed patience and put the ball past the keeper to the right. The goal put Sporting up 6-0. At 16 years of age, Busio is the youngest Sporting player to score at Children’s Mercy Park.
Sporting went up 7-0 in the 84th minute when Ilie Sanchez fed Kristztian Nemeth behind the Montreal defense for a shot past the keeper to the left.
Sporting allowed the only Montreal goal in the 90th minute from a shot on the ground to the right of keeper a Tim Melia in traffic at about the penalty shot spot. Melia was not happy about that goal and let his team hear about it.
The win was impressive in Sporting’s first game back after the two-week international window. Sporting will now play two out of their next three games against Monterrey in the CONCACAF Champions League. The first of the two games is Thursday in Monterrey. The return game is the following Thursday, April 11, at Children’s Mercy Park. In between those two big games, Sporting will play Sunday at FC Cincinnati who is playing well in their first year of MLS play. Walking away from this game with three points was crucial and Sporting did that with ease.