Montreal Impact overcame Alessandro Nesta’s sending off to beat Sporting Kansas City 2-1 and move top of MLS’ Eastern Conference.
Up against the best team in the Eastern Conference last year, Montreal had to come from a goal down at half-time to defeat Kansas City, while New England Revolution thrashed reigning MLS champions Los Angeles Galaxy 5-0.
The Impact’s victory in Kansas took them top of the Eastern Conference standings on 26 points, ahead of New York Red Bulls (25 points), who lost 2-1 at home versus Vancouver Whitecaps, while Houston Dynamo moved up to third ahead of Sporting with a 1-1 draw away to Columbus Crew.
At Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City on Saturday, Montreal had the better chances to score in the first half, with Felipe Martins hitting the post in the 39th minute, but the home side took the lead in stoppage time when Claudio Bieler won and converted a penalty.
The foul by Nesta on Bieler appeared to be just outside the box but the referee pointed to the spot and Sporting’s Argentine forward scored from 11 metres.
Having watched his team go behind just before the break, the Impact’s head coach Marco Schallibaum marched onto the field as the referee signalled half-time, unleashing a verbal tirade at the officials and then Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen.
Schallibaum was not allowed back on the bench in the second half because of his comments, but Montreal seemed to use their coach’s dismissal as inspiration, with Sanna Nyassi lashing home an equaliser in the 47th minute before Warner put the visitors in front six minutes later.
Despite having Nesta sent off in the 74th minute for a headbutt on Bieler, the Impact held on for their eighth win of the season.
On Sunday, New England notched their fourth consecutive victory, scoring twice in second-half stoppage time to complete a five-goal thumping of the Galaxy.
Sene Saer, Lee Nguyen and Diego Fagundez scored for the Revolution as they built a 3-0 lead by the 87th minute, before Chad Barrett and Kelyn Rowe both struck in the six minutes of stoppage time to complete the rout.
New England moved up to sixth in the Eastern Conference, while LA remain fourth in the Western Conference despite the big loss.
In other MLS results, Real Salt Lake picked up a big win, thumping San Jose Earthquakes 3-0, while Colorado Rapids drew 2-2 with FC Dallas, Seattle Sounders defeated Chivas USA 2-0, Toronto FC drew 1-1 with Philadelphia Union and Chicago Fire won 2-0 over DC United.