Marsch, Arnaud fume over referee’s decisions in Impact’s loss to SKC By Mike Wyman Posted on July 5, 2012 3 0 574 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Davy Arnaud PHOTO: CANADA SOCCER/PEPE In a manner that has become all too familiar to Montreal fans, the Impact got out to a lead but failed to hold on to it. Montreal allowed the visiting Sporting Kansas City side to draw even and take the lead on penalty kicks, to drop yet another game before friendly fans. With an announced crowd of 12,085, the smallest of the season so far, there were fewer saddened partisans leaving Saputo Stadium following the home side’s 3-1 defeat than there have been following other recent disappointments. “I was fined last week for claiming that the referee was one-sided. I’m not sure how scathing that was but obviously I’m not going to be able to make comments but I think it’s pretty obvious what happened out there,” said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch, obviously less than thrilled with the efforts of referee Sorin Stoica. “The first half we push hard, we defend well on set pieces and ultimately we get a lead. Then the game goes haywire. It just goes haywire,” he continued. “It hurts right now. It hurts a lot. In that locker room there are a lot of crushed men because they’ve put a whole lot into this project and tonight they put a lot into the game to get the lead and they pushed and pushed and pushed.” Coming out like gangbusters, Montreal did not look like the team that showed up for the past two games, both 3-0 shutout losses. It took the game to the visitors early and often as striker Marco Di Vaio and midfielders Justin Mapp and Felipe led the way in an opening half where Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper and captain Jimmy Nielsen was the busiest man on the pitch. The Danish ‘keeper made his first save five minutes after play got underway, blocking a Felipe attempt that was set up by Di Vaio. A minute later Mapp sent a ball through through to Di Vaio, in front of the enemy net, but the new striker’s shot rolled by the upright. A ninth-minute Davy Arnaud feed for Di Vaio failed to connect, becoming a slow rolling shot easily handled by Nielsen. Di Vaio got his first shot in the 13th, a try from distance that Nielsen handled easily. A second attempt came in the 23rd minute – a header deflected goalward that a jumping Nielsen managed to keep out of the mesh. In the 29th minute Felipe fed Montreal’s new star forward but Di Vaio’s low rolling shot missed to the right of the net. Di Vaio managed to put the ball into the Kansas City net and the crowd into a frenzy of delight in the 30th that was followed by shouts of indignation when he was declared offside In the 36th Mapp drove up the left side, his low shot to the right side stopped by Nielsen becoming the final Impact opportunity in the opening half. Sporting Kansas City’s only serious threat came in the third minute. Midfielder Graham Zusi’s cross found forward Kei Kamara in the goal area but the native of Sierra Leone sent his header just wide. After the interval, Montreal picked up where it had left off, its continued determination paying dividends in the 49th minute. A Zarek Valentin cross found Felipe in close. The Brazilian midfielder passed it back to an onrushing Patrice Bernier who found the back of the net. But the Impact lead did not hold up as the referee began playing a more prominent role in the match. Stoica called Bernier for a hand ball in the penalty area less than 10 minutes after the local player gave Montreal the lead. Kamara, SKC’s leading scorer this season, put it behind Donovan Ricketts to even things up on the scoreboard. Davy Arnaud was awarded a yellow card after referee Stoica took exception to his reaction after Kansas City was given a free kick in the 69th minute. Asked for his opinion on the matter after the game ended, The Impact captain declared, “I didn’t say anything. I didn’t say one word. I got the yellow card for jumping in the air when he gave the free kick. He didn’t like that I jumped in the air.” Asked for his overall reaction to the game, he admitted to being frustrated, saying “I think we gave everything we had tonight. Kansas City is a very good team, one if not the best team in the league and, at the end of the day, it’s frustrating that the players are not allowed to decide the game. That’s the most disappointing thing. “It’s extremely painful, because we’re coming off the two results that we’re not happy with,” he continued. “We knew this was going to be a tough game for us and we really challenged each other as a group to come out and compete for 90 minutes regardless and we did it for the whole time. “We go up a goal and what happened after that I’m not going to say very much because I don’t want to get into trouble but I haven’t ever seen anything like that and it’s my 11th year in this league.” Running afoul of Stoica once again in the 75th minute, Arnaud was called for fouling an opponent in the penalty area as they were competing for an incoming aerial ball. Zusi took the shot from the spot this time out and converted to give his side the lead. “If we’re going to start giving penalty kicks in the box to guys battling and fighting for the ball we’re going to see eight penalty kicks a game,” the Impact captain offered. The official’s decision also prompted the crowd, not subject to league discipline, to chant their frank but less than objective opinion of tonight’s referee’s performance. Midfielder, Roger Espinoza, set up forward, Jacob Peterson, for the third SKC goal of the night, his cross finding Peterson on the edge of the 18-metre box and the 26-year-old American sent the ball into the upper right corner to seal the outcome of the evening’s competition. THROW-INS Impact forward, Sanna Nyassi is a yellow card away from sitting out a one-game suspension while Felipe and Davy Arnaud, who received their fifth cautions, will sit out Sunday’s game against Columbus. Patrice Bernier returned from the unwanted holiday imposed upon him by the MLS Disciplinary Committee following the match against Toronto last Wednesday. • Going into this evening’s action it had been 262 minutes since the last MLS goal by Sporting Kansas City and 203 since Montreal, shut out by 3-0 scores in their last two games, got one of its own. All 20 of SKC’s goals this season had come on attempts from inside the penalty area. • A mesh barrier, raised into place at Stade Saputo in time for this evening’s match, provided a physical barrier between the fans in the Impact supporters’ section and the field. The decision to install the screen came after a reported $3,000 in damage occurred during the game against TFC, which featured numerous flares and smoke clouds originating in section 132. • Confirming the information that had been circulating in Montreal for the past several days, the Impact announced today that they had come to terms with 32-year-old Italian defender, Alessandro Nesta. Due to the July 4 holiday in the US, the agreement cannot be approved by MLS until tomorrow at the earliest.