Sporting Kansas City handed Montreal a 4-0 defeat on Saturday — the Impact's worst loss to date — in front of 20,306 fans at Sporting Park, the venue's 40th consecutive sellout.
"It's a tough result because we actually played well in the first half," Montreal midfielder Justin Mapp said. "But in a place like this, you have to capitalize on your chances and find a way to win, and we didn't do enough tonight."
It started ugly for the Impact. It only got worse.
Sporting KC striker Dom Dwyer scored a pair of second-half goals — giving him four in his past four matches — but the club's best offensive output of the season required some help from Montreal.
Montreal midfielder Calum Mallace actually supplied the first goal of the match, it just wound up in the wrong net.
After Sporting KC defender Matt Besler launched one of his signature long throw-ins into the goalie box, Mallace attempted to clear the pass away from danger, but instead he flicked a header into his own goal. For a team that entered the night having allowed the most goals per game in the Eastern Conference, it certainly didn't help the Impact's cause.
"It was a fluke goal," Mallace said. "You don't want to concede any goal, but when they score one like that, it's even harder."
To make matters worse, it spoiled an otherwise flawless opening 60 minutes from the Montreal defence in one of the league's toughest venues for opponents.
Montreal (0-4-3) owned the better of the chances in the opening half, but it couldn't manage to capitalize on any of them. Though it certainly came close.
In the 14th minute, Felipe Martins and Marco Di Vaio broke free for a two-on-one and executed the play well. Di Vaio forced Sporting KC keeper Eric Kronberg off his line, then shifted a quick pass to Martins, who fired toward an unmanned goal. Except Sporting KC defender Aurelien Collin managed to get back in time to clear the ball off the line, preserving the third shutout of the MLS season for Kronberg.
"It was disheartening," Mapp said. "We have two or three really good chances to go up one (goal) ourselves, and they they kind of get a half-chance play like that to go in. It's tough. But we were still in a decent spot at halftime."
The shutout disappeared with the fluke goal. And the offensive chances soon disappeared, too.
Montreal didn't manage a shot on goal in the second half, instead watching Sporting KC (3-1-2) produce an unanswered onslaught of offence.
Collin moved up from his spot in the Sporting KC central defence to score in the 71st minute. After Dwyer battled for a loose ball in the goalie box, it fell to Collin, who chipped a left-footed shot past Montreal keeper Troy Perkins for his second goal of the season.
Dwyer joined the fun shortly thereafter.
He finished off a crossing pass from late-game substitute Jacob Peterson in the 74th minute, then headed home a crossing pass from Graham Zusi in the 86h minute.
"We just came out a little flat in the second half," Mapp said. "Against a team like that, you really have to be disciplined and tuned-in for 90 minutes. If you're not, they can pod goals quickly like they did."
Again searching for its first victory of the season, Montreal returns home Saturday for a match against Philadelphia.