Montreal Rookie Blake Smith scored in extra time and the Montreal Impact ended a five-game winless slide with a 1-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.
Veteran Patrice Bernier made the play happen as he let Hassoun Camara’s pass go through his feet to Marco Di Vaio at the top of the box, a play that is called a dummy in soccer.
The veteran striker slipped a pass to Smith on the left side for a low shot between the legs of goalie Jimmy Nielsen.
“Sometimes a dummy creates space, and it allowed Marco time to shoot or make a play,” Bernier said. “We tried to push more offensively in the second half because Marco was alone (up front) most of the game and it paid off.
“It gave him enough time and Blake was cold-blooded and was able to finish it off and give us the 1-0.”
Smith did a triple back flip to celebrate the goal.
“I want to come in and bring that spark and help the team get that final push,” Smith said. “Fortunately, it worked for us this time.”
Montreal (10-5-5) moved within one point of the conference-leading Kansas City (10-6-6), with two games in hand. The visitors ended a six-game undefeated streak going back to a 2-1 defeat at home to Montreal on June 1.
The Impact won the season series 2-1-0.
“Both teams know you can’t give an inch,” Bernier. “It’s a playoff type of intensity.
“But this is what we need. This is a team we’ll be fighting with for a playoff spot.”
Smith had a chance a moment earlier that Nielsen tipped over the bar. It was one of the few solid chances of the game.
Kansas City controlled the ball for most of the first half, but didn’t get a quality shot on goal.
Montreal answered with quick breaks and came close as Nielsen made a smart save on Sanna Nyassi in alone on the left side. Another chance came from a Di Vaio free kick from the edge of the penalty area that was deflected wide.
The visitors got a good chance off Graham Zusi’s free kick five minutes into the second half, which was headed to Claudio Bieler for a shot that forced Troy Perkins to make a leaping save.
Kansas City had a free kick from 25 yards in the 86th minute, but Soony Saad put it over the bar.
Early in the second half, Perkins needed treatment on the field for a cut on the left eye after a collision with Kai Kamara. Backup Evan Bush warmed up, but Perkins stayed in the game.
Notes: Montreal sat out forward Daniele Paponi in favor of Nyassi, who scored in the team’s last meeting with K.C. ... New Impact signings Hernan Bernardello and Adrian Lopez were introduced to fans at halftime. They won’t play until they’ve had at least a week of training with the team. ... The Impact’s Marco Di Vaio and Patrice Bernier will head to K.C. to play in the MLS All-Star game against AS Roma on Wednesday night. ... K.C. was without central defenders Aurelien Collin (suspended) and Matt Besler (U.S. national team duty).