The drought is over for Sporting Kansas City. Maybe all it took was a little bit of rain on the road.
Following an afternoon storm in Montreal, Sporting KC poured in three second-half goals to pull away for a 3-1 victory against the Impact on Wednesday at Saputo Stadium.
Sporting KC erased a 1-0 deficit — and ended a 319-minute dry spell in the process — to notch its first road win since April 18 in Vancouver. The club moved back into second place in the Eastern Conference, one point behind leader D.C. United.
"Winning on the road is not an easy feat in the MLS," Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes said. "We hung in there. We didn’t have the best of first halves, but we stayed faithful."
Kei Kamara put a stop to the scoring drought with a penalty kick in the 55th minute, given to Sporting KC following a Montreal hand ball in the goalie box.
Sporting KC, 10-5-2, which ended a two-game losing streak in MLS play, dominated possession after the equalizer and turned it into another penalty kick goal from Graham Zusi in the 75h minute. Montreal’s Davy Arnaud was whistled for tackling Soony Saad during a battle in the goalie box, setting up Zusi’s game-winner. Substitute Jacob Peterson put the game away with a rifle past keeper Donovan Ricketts in the 82nd minute.
Montreal, 5-11-3, heavily disputed both penalty kick calls — and fans inside Saputo Stadium began throwing objects onto the field, halting play for a couple of minutes — but Vermes said the correct call was made each time.
"It was justice. Both goals were deserving," Vermes said. "We probably should’ve gotten a couple of more penalty kicks in the first half. They were grabbing and pulling us every time we were in the box. They owed us one."
And Sporting KC owed Montreal one. The Impact left Livestrong Sporting Park with a 2-0 victory on May 5.
Sporting KC hadn’t forgotten.
Its second-half performance came from a motivated group following a lackluster first half. Vermes said he made a second-half adjustment with his defense — aided by the return of Matt Besler to the starting lineup — that allowed the team to make more pushes toward the goal.
"Absolutely, we talked a lot about that word revenge," Vermes said. "We wanted that. It was important for us to steal the points back from them and get even."
Sporting KC goalie Jimmy Nielsen kept the door open for a win with four saves in the first half – three from point-blank range. Montreal Marco Di Vaio broke past Sporting KC’s defense three times in the first 30 minutes but misfired once and was twice stoned by Nielsen.
Nielsen finished with five saves.
"You go to sleep easier at night having a solid keeper in net," Vermes said. "He made the saves when we needed them to keep us in the game. He’s just a steady guy for us."