MONTREAL – Defender A.J. Soares scored the only goal of the game in the 88th minute and goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth made a career-high seven saves to notch his second straight shutout as the New England Revolution closed the 2012 season with a 1-0 win over the Montreal Impact on Saturday afternoon at Stade Saputo.
Soares notched the dramatic game winner in the late stages, rising highest to meet Chris Tierney’s free kick and guide an excellent header past Montreal goalkeeper Troy Perkins.
The victory – New England’s second of the campaign on the road – improved the Revolution’s final regular season record to 9-17-8 (35 pts.), while the loss dropped the Impact’s mark to 12-16-6 (42 pts.) in the club’s inaugural MLS season. Both sides missed out on the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Benny Feilhaber returned from suspension to regain a starting role, while Fernando Cardenas and Tierney also started in midfield as the Revolution made three changes to the side which beat the Chicago Fire in last weekend’s home finale.
Montreal had the game’s first real chance in the eighth minute when Jeb Brovsky broke free down the left and drilled a dangerous cross into the box. The pass eluded Shuttleworth – who’d charged off his line – but Kevin Alston was on hand to make a vital block and clear the danger.
Brovsky continued to pose a threat on the left side and delivered another teasing cross in the 21st minute, this time directed at Marco Di Vaio. The Italian forward connected on a volley, but Clyde Simms was well positioned to block the shot.
The Revs responded with a bit of their own pressure in the 28th minute when Cardenas and Diego Fagundez combined on a well-worked one-two down the right wing. Fagundez eventually slipped a square pass into the box for Cardenas, whose tight-angle shot was denied by Perkins.
Montreal came inches from breaking through in the 50th minute when Di Vaio’s low cross from the byline slipped through Shuttleworth’s legs at the near post and rolled across the face of goal. Shuttleworth was sharper just moments later, diving to his left to push away Davy Arnaud’s long-range blast.
In the 56th minute it was Soares and Ryan Guy who made crucial blocks inside the box, snuffing out back-to-back efforts from Di Vaio and Andrew Wenger. Montreal substitute Justin Mapp had a pair of chances in the 73rd minute, but his first shot was saved by Shuttleworth and his second attempt flew over the crossbar.
Shuttleworth came up big again in the 82nd minute when he got low to stop Di Vaio’s 20-yard free kick, while he got some help from Blair Gavin in the 86th minute when the Revolution substitute cleared Arnaud’s close-range effort off the line.
After absorbing pressure for much of the match, the Revs snatched all three points with a picture-perfect set piece in the 88th minute. Tierney’s in-swinging service from the right channel found Soares, who eluded his marker and deftly headed home his second goal of the season.
Di Vaio had one final chance for the Impact to grab an equalizer deep into stoppage time, but Shuttleworth was again on hand to scoop up the shot and make sure the Revs closed the season with their first-ever win in Canada.
New England Revolution at Montreal Impact
October 27, 2012 – Stade Saputo (Montreal, Canada)
New England Revolution 1, Montreal Impact 0
NE – A.J. Soares (Chris Tierney) 88
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth, Kevin Alston, A.J. Soares, Darrius Barnes, Ryan Guy, Chris Tierney, Clyde Simms ©, Benny Feilhaber, Fernando Cardenas (Kelyn Rowe 68), Diego Fagundez (Blair Gavin 64), Jerry Bengtson (Dimitry Imbongo 81)
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Reis, Sainey Nyassi, Blake Brettschneider, Alec Purdie
STATS: Shots 7, Shots on Target 4, Corner Kicks 3, Saves 8, Fouls 14, Offsides 4, Passes (percentage) 329 (72.6%), Possession 38.3%
Montreal Impact: Troy Perkins, Jeb Brovsky, Matteo Ferrari (Justin Map 71), Alessandro Nesta, Hassoun Camara, Davy Arnaud ©, Calum Mallace, Patrice Bernier, Collen Warner (Sinisha Ubiparipovic 87), Andrew Wenger (Eduardo Sebrango 79), Marco Di Vaio
Substitutes Not Used: Evan Bush, Dennis Iapichino, Zarek Valentin, Lamar Neagle
STATS: Shots 16, Shots on Target 8, Corner Kicks 6, Saves 3, Fouls 11, Offsides 5, Passes (percentage) 528 (84.7%), Possession 61.7%
* Note that all statistics are unofficial
Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Assistant Referees: Peter Manikowski, Steven Taylor
Fourth Official: Mathieu Bourdeau
Weather: Cloudy and 58 degrees
New England Revolution - 9-17-8 (35 pts.)
Montreal Impact - 12-16-6 (42 pts.)
- With the win, the Revolution closed the 2012 season with a 9-17-8 record and 35 points and finished the season in ninth place in the Eastern Conference
- Jay Heaps closed his first season a head coach and improved upon the team’s 2011 win (5) and point (28) totals in his first campaign at the helm
- The win was the team’s first-ever against Montreal … the Revs are now 1-2-0 against the Impact all-time after dropping the first two contests (2-1 in Montreal on July 18 and 1-0 at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 12)
- This afternoon’s win was the team’s second win on the road this season
- The Revs closed the season with a 2-13-2 road mark, picking up eight points away from home this year
- The win was the team’s first road win since March 31, when the team earned a 3-1 win at LA … the team entered today’s game winless in their last 13 road matches dating back to the LA win
- The match was the team’s 19th one-goal match of the season
- The win pushed the team’s record in one-goal games to 4-15-0
- Today’s victory was the team’s second consecutive 1-0 victory … in the team’s last match, the Revs earned a 1-0 result at home against the Chicago Fire
- The season-ending victory moved the team’s record to 2-4-1 in matches that ended the team’s regular-season and campaign (excluding seasons in which they went to the MLS Cup Playoffs)
- The win was the team’s first-ever win on Canadian soil … the Revs are now 1-3-5 in MLS games in Canada … following today’s game, the Revs are now 1-1-0 in Montreal, 0-2-4 in Toronto and 0-0-1 in Vancouver
- Today’s win marked the 18th time this season the Revs held their opponent scoreless in the second half … the Revs entered today’s game tied for third in MLS for fewest second-half goals allowed (18)
- Today’s defensive shutout was the team’s ninth of the year … Matt Reis (6) and Bobby Shuttleworth (3) combined for the nine shutout total
- The team’s nine defensive shutouts were the team’s most since posting 10 in 2007
- A.J. Soares’ goal in the 88th minute was the team’s first game-winning goal scored after the 75th minute since April 23, 2011, when Rajko Lekic scored the team’s third goal in a 3-2 win against Sporting Kansas City in the 83rd minute
- Today marked the 10th time this season the Revs’ match was tied entering the 75th minute ... today was the sixth time this season the Revs picked up at least one point in those matches
- Chris Tierney returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Aug. 29 and made his 28th appearance and his 26th start of the season
- Chris Tierney made his second start of the season at left midfield – he also started there on July 21 at Kansas City … 24 of his 26 starts have come at left back
- Fernando Cardenas made his ninth start of the season and his first since Sept. 29 in a 2-0 loss at Houston
- Benny Feilhaber returned to the starting lineup after missing the team’s last match while serving a mandatory one-game suspension after being shown a second yellow card at Philadelphia on Oct. 1
- Bobby Shuttleworth made his fifth straight start and his seventh start of the season overall
- Bobby Shuttleworth has been the team’s starting goalkeeper in each of the Revolution’s last three season finales
- Bobby Shuttleworth recorded his third shutout of the year … he now has four career shutouts and is tied for seventh on the Revs’ career shutout list with Aiden Heaney (4)
- Bobby Shuttleworth recorded a career-high seven saves tonight … his previous high was six, which came on Oct. 10, 2010 at Houston
- Bobby Shuttleworth moved into seventh place on the club’s career saves list with 58 saves, passing Aiden Heaney (51)
- A.J. Soares’ goal was the third of his career and his second of the season … he scored his other goal this season on May 26
- All three of A.J. Soares’ career goals have been off set pieces, all assisted by Chris Tierney
- Chris Tierney recorded his fifth assist of the season tonight, marking a new single-season high for the fifth-year player
- Chris Tierney ended the year tied for the team lead in assists with five … he is tied with rookie Kelyn Rowe
- Chris Tierney now has 16 career assists and is tied with Joe Franchino for 10th on the club’s career assist chart
- Tonight, Chris Tierney recorded his eighth career game-winning assist and his third of the season
- Chris Tierney is now tied for third with Jose Cancela on the club’s career game-winning assist chart
- With one corner kick, Chris Tierney took his 158th career corner and moved into a tie for fourth place on the club’s career corner kick list … he is now tied with Imad Baba
- Kelyn Rowe finished the season tied for the team’s lead in assists with five with Chris Tierney … Rowe is the first rookie to lead (or co-lead) the team in assists since Pat Noonan recorded seven assists to share the team lead with four other players
- The Revolution closed the season by posting an 0.75 goals against average in the last two months of the season … since Sept. 1, the Revs posted four shutouts while allowing six goals and going 3-3-2