Sporting Kansas City fell 3-0 to reigning French Ligue 1 champions Montpellier Herault SC on Tuesday in an international friendly at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. MHSC off-season signings Gaetan Charbonnier and Emanuel Herrera powered the visitors in the victory,while goalkeepers Geoffrey Jourdren and Laurent Pionnier combined for the clean sheet.
Possession was split evenly between the two sides for the first 25 minutes, with action onboth sides of the field.
Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Eric Kronberg, making his first appearance of 2012, made two excellent saves from the rapid-firing French side beginning in the 28thminute when Marco Estrada dribbled through midfield and shot from 25 yards out. Just three minutes later, Estrada was active again and played a ball over the top to Charbonnier. He did well to settle it off his chest, but was denied by Kronberg from close range.
Monpellier Herault SC nabbed their first goal of the night in the 39th minute when Estrada curled in a cross from the left to Charbonnier, who made no mistake this time in pushing his header past Kronberg.
Making nine changes to start the second half, MHSC would continue to show the skill that propelled them to the top of Ligue 1 and into the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League.
The team notched their second goal of the night in the 72nd minute when Anthony Mounier made a low pass to Herrera, stationed deep inside the penalty area. With Kronberg off his line, Herrera took an angled shot and slotted the ball in.
Ten minutes later, Peterson Joseph came close for Sporting KC with a bending shot from the corner of the 18-yard box that went wide of the right post. One of six Sporting KC players with a shot attempted on the night, Joseph was also one of six Sporting KC players to go the full 90 minutes in the friendly.
Defenders Neven Markovic and Kyle Miller, the team’s newest two signings, each made their Sporting KC debuts on Tuesday, while Kevin Ellis, Korede Aiyegbusi and Eric Kronberg each appeared in their first games of 2012 with the Sporting KC first team.
MHSC struck for their final goal on what would be the final play of the match in the secondminute of second-half stoppage time. Kronberg did well to make his seventh save of the match to turn away an attempt from Mounier, but Herrera was there tocollect the rebound and calmly convert the opportunity from a difficult angle near the endline.