ORLANDO, Florida - The Impact fell 3-2 to Sporting Kansas City, who remain undefeated in preseason play, on Wednesday night, in its final game of the group stage at the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic tournament.
The bleu-blanc-noir opened the scoring in the first minute when midfielder Hernan Bernardello played a through ball to Sanna Nyassi. The Gambian midfielder fired a one-time, right-footed shot from inside the left side of the box that beat keeper John Kempin to his left.
Forward Dom Dwyer tied it up in the 9th minute. A collision in the box between Impact defender Wandrille Lefèvre and KC's Dwyer resulted in a penalty shot. Impact keeper Evan Bush managed to get a hand on the Dwyer blast, but couldn't prevent it from going in.
The Impact took back the lead in the 30th minute, getting a penalty shot call of its own when midfielder Sanna Nyassi played a ball near the six-yard line. Collen Warner brought the ball down, but SKC centreback Matt Besler took Warner down with a slide. Felipe took the penalty and scored with a low shot past Kempin just inside the post.
Kansas City equalized again towards the end of the first half when midfielder Graham Zusi played a cross into the box from deep down the left flank in the 43rd minute, where Dwyer's jumping header found the back of the net.
SKC took the lead for the first time in the game when left back Seth Sinovic played a low cross through the box that found midfielder Sal Zizzo in the 75th minute. The midfielder's one-timed shot across goal left Bush with no chance to make the stop.
The Impact had a number of good scoring chances denied by Kempin in the first half. Andrew Wenger and Justin Mapp were both turned away with great saves just moments apart. Bernardello saw his attempt stopped by the SKC keeper in the 38th minute.
The Impact finishes the group stage in 5th position and will play its last game of the tournament Saturday against the Philadelphia Union.
"We created a lot of chances, we just have to do a little better letting up bad goals at tough times," said Impact head coach Frank Klopas. "There was a lack of concentration and maybe a little fatigue, but it will get better. I thought there were good at moments in the game."
"There was maybe more bad than good tonight in this game," said Evan Bush. "We made a couple of defending mistakes. We need to start doing better with the regular season coming soon. In the second half, there was no life and we need to have more character."
"We played a solid first half, but gave up two goals," said Sanna Nyassi. "That's preseason, we have to work on these things before the seasons starts. I think we need to work on defending after we score first."