Montreal could not dig up the goal so desperately needed. Their playoff fate has been hanging around at “longshot” status for weeks now, but the scoreless draw at home Saturday will surely choke out whatever life remained in the playoff dream around Stade Saputo.
It was a brave and spirited summer run for the expansion side, but there simply cannot be a way through now.
While the 0-0 result did nothing for Jesse Marsch’s men, there was plenty of value in it for Sporting Kansas City.
Peter Vermes’ team had two road contests this week, including a tough trip into Red Bull Arena on Wednesday night. So, grabbing four points from two road matches just four days apart? Yes, any team will stamp that “Mission Accomplished” on that one and go dancing away with joy.
In terms of the actual standings, that stretches SKC’s Eastern Conference lead to five points over second place Chicago. (Although the Fire does have two games in hand.)
Finally, Sporting Kansas City hasn’t always been the best at closing out matches. All that high pressure is wonderful stuff, effective and a real hoot to watch. But they have to know when to turn it down a notch, to sit back in a slightly more conservative post and ride out a draw or a one-goal lead.
Montreal’s Matteo Ferrari did get loose for an unchallenged header on goal late Saturday, but SKC otherwise nursed this one home just fine.
Here is Ferrari’s late header and the rest of the highlights … few that they were in a match with just five shots on goal combined for both teams.