The New England Revolution remain in the fifth and final Eastern Conference MLS playoff spot, despite falling 4-2 to surging Montreal Impact on Sept. 8 at Gillette Stadium for a sparse crowd of 9,165.
The dynamic young duo of Diego Fagundez and Kelyn Rowe each scored one goal, despite the challenge of playing down a man for 85 minutes after goalkeeper Matt Reis was ejected in the fifth minute and referee Sorin Stoica awarded Montreal two penalties in the first half, both converted by Patrice Bernier.
"For me, I think it was a bad decision from the ref," said defender Jose Goncalves. "I don’t see why he should give the red card. I think Matt (Reis) went for the ball and even if Matt dodged slightly – (Marco) Di Vaio played well but the ball was not going into the goal. It was going outside, so it’s a smart play for him but it’s a harder red card."
The Impact's Marco Di Vaio increased his MLS-leading season total to 17 goals by scoring two goals against the Revolution.
The Revolution (10-10-7, 37 pts.) remain fifth in the playoff race and Montreal Impact (13-7-6, 45 pts.) top the Eastern Conference and stand third overall. New England remain winless at home against Montreal all-time (0-2-0) and are 1-3-0 against the Impact all-time.
Agudelo out with injury again
Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made one change to Sunday's lineup by replacing Dimitry Imbongo for Juan Agudelo, once again was sidelined with injury, this time a hamstring injury suffered last Friday in Toronto. Agudelo is headed for Stoke at the end of the season.
After Reis was send off, Heaps replaced midfielder Chad Barrett with back-up goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, who is now 7-10-5 this season.
Fagundez, 18, equalized in the 26th minute, bringing his team-leading season total to 10 goals, in addition to six assists.
Bernier converted the second of his two penalties in the 33rd minute to give Montreal the 2-1 advantage. With four minutes of first-half stoppage time, Di Vaio put Montreal ahead 3-1 lead, assisted by Hassoun Camara. Di Vaio and Camara combined again in the 56th minute to bring the score to 4-1.
Rowe scored the Revolution’s second goal in the 76th minute, assisted by substitute Saer Sene. The strike was Rowe scored his sixth goal of the season, marking the fourth consecutive game that the midfielder has recorded a goal or an assist. It was Sene's third assist of the season.
"Hats off to the guys playing down to 10 men for as long as they did," said Reis. "To get two goals and to work as hard as they did was something that we can look at and be proud of."
The Revolution returns to action when it travels to face the Fire on Saturday, Sept. 14, at Toyota Park. Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on TV by Comcast SportsNet.
MON – Patrice Bernier (penalty) 8
NE – Diego Fagundez (unassisted) 26
MON – Patrice Bernier (penalty) 33
MON – Marco Di Vaio (Hassoun Camara) 47+
MON – Marco Di Vaio (Hassoun Camara) 55
NE – Kelyn Rowe (Saer Sene) 76
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Chris Tierney, Jose Goncalves, A.J. Soares, Andrew Farrell, Diego Fagundez, Lee Nguyen (Juan Toja 68), Scott Caldwell, Kelyn Rowe, Chad Barrett, (Bobby Shuttleworth 7), Dimitry Imbongo (Saer Sene 74)
Substitutes Not Used: Charlie Davies, Stephen McCarthy, Darrius Barnes, Andy Dorman
STATS: Shots 10, Shots on Target 3, Corner Kicks 5, Saves 1, Fouls 14, Offsides 0, Passes 415 (82.9%), Possession (40.8%)
Montreal Impact: Troy Perkins, Jeb Brovsky, Matteo Ferrari, Alessandro Nesta, Hassoun Camara, Davy Arnaud (Andrea Pisanu 80), Patrice Bernier, Collen Warner, Felipe Martins (Daniele Paponi 72), Justin Mapp, Marco Di Vaio (Andrew Wenger 91+)
Substitutes Not Used: Evan Bush, Sanna Nyassi, Maxim Tissot, Wandrille Lefevre
STATS:Shots 8, Shots on Target 5, Corner Kicks 0, Saves 1, Fouls 11, Offsides 14, Passes 602 (89.5%), Possession (59.2%)
NE – Matt Reis (ejection) 5
MON – Jeb Brovsky (caution) 48+
NE – Kelyn Rowe (caution) 84
NE – Chris Tierney (caution) 87
Referee: Sorin Stoica
Assistant Referees: Daniel Belleau (AR1), Claudio Badea(AR2)
Fourth Official: Robert Sibiga