A day before Sporting Kansas City arrived at Stade Saputo in Montreal, striker Dom Dwyer expressed his excitement for the opportunity to play against Montreal forward Didier Drogba, a man he considered a childhood hero.
On Saturday, Dwyer gave his former idol a show.
Dwyer scored a pair of game-tying goals, helping Sporting Kansas City salvage a 2-2 draw against Drogba and the Impact on Saturday.
“I’m here for a reason, and that’s to score goals,” Dwyer told reporters after the match. “That’s what I do as as player. I did my job tonight — not quite enough to get us three points, but we’re pleased with that performance.”
Sporting KC extended its MLS unbeaten streak to three games, propelled by the performance from Dwyer, who sizzled in Montreal once more. He scored his eighth and ninth career goals against the Impact, making him the most successful scorer against the club.
“I think that’s more coincidental,” he said.
The performance came with Drogba standing on the opposite end of the field. Earlier this week, Dwyer recalled watching Drogba play for English-club Chelsea while Dwyer competed in academy soccer in his home England. Drogba topped 100 goals during his stint with Chelsea.
Dwyer recorded his 42nd and 43rd goals in MLS play with Kansas City on Saturday. Both erased deficits — including a 59th-minute strike from 20 yards out to even the score for good.
“I think it showed a lot of intestinal fortitude to come back from being down (twice),” Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes said in a phone interview after the match. “I thought we had a lot of chances and maybe could’ve even won it.”
Sporting KC, 6-8-4, entered the match having allowed only three shots on goal over its past three matches.
Montreal needed only 17 minutes to top that number Saturday. It scored twice in the opening half — the first a product of a dynamic attack and the other a product of a controversial call.
Montreal, 5-4-6, opened the scoring in the 17th minute on a highlight-worthy tic-tac-toe play from Drogba to Hassoun Camara to Lucas Ontivero, whose diving header beat goalkeeper Tim Melia. Dwyer responded with his own header, converting a long cross from Roger Espinoza.
Then came the controversy.
Drogba drew a penalty kick call in the 39th minute when Jimmy Medranda was whistled for fouling him in the penalty box. Medranda argued the call as Montreal midfielder Ignacio Piatti converted the ensuing penalty kick. Minutes later, Sporting KC midfielder Benny Feilhaber was bumped in the penalty box without a whistle.
“I just think it’s funny how it’s so easy to call the foul on Drogba, but it’s not easy to call the foul on Benny,” Vermes said. “It’s Drogba. I think he got preferential treatment on the field today.”