MONTREAL – Lee Nguyen scored his fourth goal of the season just before the halftime break to temporarily pull the New England Revolution level, but it wasn’t enough as the Revs suffered a 2-1 loss in their first-ever meeting with the expansion Montreal Impact on Wednesday night at Stade Saputo.
Nguyen’s 44th-minute goal – which was originally credited as an own goal to Montreal goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts but was later changed – cancelled out Patrice Berner’s opener from the penalty spot in the 28th minute. But Sanna Nyassi – twin brother of Revolution midfielder Sainey – scored a stunning goal in the 67th minute to hand the Impact the full three points.
The victory vaulted the Impact (7-12-3, 24 pts.) over the Revs (6-9-4, 22 pts.) in the Eastern Conference standings, although Montreal has played three more games than New England.
There were four changes to the Revolution lineup which suffered a 1-0 loss to Toronto FC last weekend at Gillette Stadium. Matt Reis returned between the pipes after a two-game absence, while Darrius Barnes earned his first start of the season at center back with both Stephen McCarthy (concussive-like symptoms) and Shalrie Joseph (back stiffness) sidelined. On the wings, Kelyn Rowe returned from suspension to take his place on the left side, while Ryan Guy made his first appearance since May 26 on the right.
Reis was active early upon his return to the lineup, making a pair of key saves in the opening six minutes. Marco Di Vaio’s 30-yard free kick dipped past the wall but was pushed around the post by Reis, who was also up to the task to stop Nyassi’s skipping 25-yard blast just moments later.
There was nothing Reis could do in the 28th minute, however, when Bernier finished from the penalty spot to give the Impact a 1-0 lead. Referee Fotis Bazakos pointed to the spot when Chris Tierney was adjudged to have fouled Nyassi as he streaked into the box, while Bernier was made to take the penalty three times before finally dispatching his effort into the right side as Reis dove the other way.
The Revs almost responded in the 36th minute when Tierney picked out Saer Sene with a long pass out of the back. Sene did well to settle, turn and fire from the top of the box, but his effort was saved by Ricketts at the near post.
Ricketts wasn’t quite as fortunate in the 44th minute, however, as the Impact goalkeeper saw the ball rebound off the back of his leg and into his own net to level the score before halftime. Nguyen’s venomous drive from distance was worthy of the resulting goal – the shot beat Ricketts cleanly – but it ultimately needed a touch from Ricketts’ heel to bounce into the vacant net after the initial effort crashed off the face of the crossbar.
Montreal regained its lead in the 67th minute when Nyassi connected on a blistering full volley to register his third goal of the season. From the left wing Justin Mapp floated a teasing cross to the back post, where Nyassi took the ball out of the air and drilled a shot past Reis from eight yards out.
Searching for an equalizer the Revs made a pair of substitutions in the 79th minute, bringing on Fernando Cardenas and Sainey Nyassi to play on opposite wings, but the moves didn’t result in the desired tying goal.
The Revs will continue their road trip at Livestrong Sporting Park on Saturday, July 21, when they’ll take on Sporting Kansas City at 8:30 p.m. ET.
New England Revolution at Montreal Impact
July 18, 2012 – Stade Saputo (Montreal, Canada)
Montreal Impact 2, New England Revolution 1
MTL – Patrice Bernier (penalty kick) 28
NE – Lee Nguyen (Kelyn Rowe) 44
MTL – Sanna Nyassi (Justin Mapp, Dennis Iapichino) 67
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Chris Tierney, A.J. Soares, Darrius Barnes, Kevin Alston, Lee Nguyen, Benny Feilhaber, Clyde Simms © (Blake Brettschneider 65), Kelyn Rowe (Fernando Cardenas 79), Ryan Guy, Saer Sene (Sainey Nyassi 79)
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Flo Lechner, Jose Moreno, Diego Fagundez
STATS: Shots 15, Shots on Target 3, Corner Kicks 9, Saves 0, Fouls 11, Offsides 1, Passes (percentage) 426 (83.1%), Possession 50.9%
Montreal Impact: Donovan Ricketts, Jeb Brovsky, Shavar Thomas, Hassoun Camara, Dennis Iapichino (Zarek Valentin 70), Justin Mapp (Collen Warner 80), Felipe, Patrice Bernier, Davy Arnaud ©, Marco Di Vaio (Eduardo Sebrango 90), Sanna Nyassi
Substitutes Not Used: Evan Bush,Lamar Neagle, Sinisa Ubiparapovic, Karl Ouimette
STATS: Shots 10, Shots on Target 2, Corner Kicks 9, Saves 2, Fouls 8, Offsides 2, Passes (percentage) 410 (82.2%), Possession 49.1%
* Note that all statistics are unofficial
NE – Lee Nguyen (caution) 39
Referee: Fotis Barakos
Assistant Referees: Phillippe Briere, George Gansner
Fourth Official: Mathier Bourdeau
Weather: Clear and 72 degrees
New England Revolution: 6-9-4 (22 pts.)
Montreal Impact 7-12-3 (24 pts.)
- Tonight’s match was the first-ever meeting between the two teams
- The clubs will play two more times this season: August 12 at Gillette Stadium and October 27 at Stade Saputo
- Montreal now leads the all-time series with New England, 1-0-0
- With the loss, the Revs fell to 1-7-1 on the road … the team is 0-5-1 in its last six road matches after winning at LA on March 31
- Tonight’s loss was the team’s first-ever loss to an expansion team in its first meeting of the season … entering tonight, the Revs were 5-0-4 in the first-ever meeting against an expansion team
- Overall, the Revs are now 10-10-6 against expansion teams in their inaugural seasons
- With the loss, the Revs are now 0-3-5 in games played in Canada … this includes an 0-2-4 mark against Toronto at BMO Field, an 0-0-1 mark at Empire Field (Vancouver Whitecaps FC) and now an 0-1-0 mark at Stade Saputo
- Tonight’s loss, coupled with Saturday’s loss at home against Toronto, gives the Revs back-to-back losses for the first time since April … that month, the Revs went 0-3 with losses at Dallas (1-0), against D.C. (2-1) and at New York (1-0)
- Tonight’s match was the team’s 10th one-goal game of the season … the Revs are now 2-8-0 in one-goal games this season
- Tonight marked the 10th time this season the Revs opponent had scored first in a match … the team is now 2-6-1 when its opponents score first
- Matt Reis returned to the lineup after sitting on the bench the last two matches
- Darrius Barnes earned his first start of the season tonight … his last appearance came on May 2 as a substitute against the Colorado Rapids, when he came on for Kevin Alston at right back
- Ryan Guy made his first appearance since May 26, when he started in the central midfield at D.C. United
- Newly-acquired forward Jerry Bengtson was unavailable for tonight’s game after departing the club to join up with the Honduras Olympic Team … Honduras has three group matches scheduled at the London Games: Morocco (July 26), Spain (July 29) and Japan (Aug. 1)
- Clyde Simms served as the team’s captain for the third-straight game … when he left the game in the 65h minute, Benny Feilhaber put on the armband for the remainder of the match
- Lee Nguyen’s goal, originally credited as an own goal, was his fourth of the season and his second in the last three games
- Kelyn Rowe recorded his second assist of the season on Lee Nguyen’s goal … it was his first assist since June 2 against Chicago
- Sainey Nyassi made his 2012 season debut tonight … he missed the first 15 games of the year with a severe right hamstring strain that he suffered in early February in a preseason scrimmage … he was activated off the Disabled List on June 27
- This was the second time that Sainey Nyassi and his identical twin brother, Sanna, were on the field against each other at the same time for their respective teams … the first time it happened was July 23, 2011, when the Revs played at Colorado and Sanna was a Rapid