Montreal’s Alessandro Nesta and Sporting Kansas City’s Claudio Bieler went head to head, quite literally.
Impact coach Marco Schallibaum lit into opposing goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, and then had some choice words for the match referees.
Tense? You bet.
It’s getting to be that way any time the two teams meet.
Former Sounders player Sanna Nyassi and Collen Warner scored early in the second half Saturday night, rallying the Impact to a testy 2-1 victory over Sporting KC that gave Montreal first place in the Eastern Conference.
“You need to manage your emotions in different moments,” said Impact assistant coach Mauro Biello, who took over in the second half after Schallibaum was dismissed from the game in Kansas City, Kan. “And I think my team did a good job managing their emotions and coming out in the second half and scoring two goals.”
Claudio Bieler scored on a penalty kick in first-half stoppage time for Sporting KC, prompting protests from Montreal that ultimately got Schallibaum ejected. The Impact’s coach also was sent away when the two teams met in March for throwing water at the referee.
This time, Schallibaum missed watching Nyassi score the equalizer in the 47th minute and Warner punching the go-ahead goal past Sporting KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen in the 53rd minute.
The Impact (8-2-2) had to play a man down when Nesta was given a red card for head-butting Bieler later in the second half, but Montreal still held on even the season series with Sporting KC (6-5-4).
FC Dallas 2, at Rapids 2: Blas Perez scored his second goal in the 66th minute to lift league-leading FC Dallas into the tie with Colorado, which got two goals from Atiba Harris.
Dallas is 7-1-4 in its last 12 games and has outscored its opponents 21-14 in that stretch. The Rapids extended their unbeaten streak to six games.
At Crew 1, Dynamo 1: Federico Higuain’s penalty kick in the 69th minute rallied Columbus to the draw with Houston.
Higuain ended a 294-minute home scoreless drought for the Crew, converting his third penalty in four tries this season.
Whitecaps 2, at Red Bulls 1: Kenny Miller scored in the 83rd minute to give Vancouver its second win in nearly three months.
New York had its unbeaten streak snapped at seven games, and the Whitecaps earned their second win since March 9.
Union 1, at Toronto FC 1: Jack McInerney scored in second-half stoppage time to lift Philadelphia to the draw against short-handed Toronto, which was playing with just 10 men after 41 minutes and extended its MLS winless streak to 11 matches.
At Real Salt Lake 3, Earthquakes 0: Javier Morales scored a goal and assisted on another to fuel a first-half outburst that lifted RLS past San Jose.