FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Second-half substitute Sanna Nyassi scored the only goal of the game in the 61st minute and goalkeeper Troy Perkins made five saves in his Montreal Impact debut as the New England Revolution suffered a 1-0 loss to the expansion side on Sunday night at Gillette Stadium.
Sanna – twin brother of Revolution midfielder Sainey – entered the game following the halftime break and stunned the home crowd 16 minutes later with a spectacular individual goal, completing a solo run with a long-distance blast. It was the second time in less than a month that Nyassi scored the game winner against New England as he did the same in Montreal’s 2-1 win on July 18 at Stade Saputo.
The Revs twice hit the woodwork – through Chris Tierney and Saer Sene in the first half – while they had a penalty shout denied in the second half when Impact defender Dennis Iapichino blocked Ryan Guy’s right-wing cross with an outstretched arm.
The loss extended the Revolution’s winless run to six games (0-5-1), while the Revs (6-12-5, 23 pts.) have now suffered three consecutive 1-0 losses at home. The Impact (10-13-3, 33 pts.), meanwhile, climbed to within three points of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference thanks to a third straight victory.
Honduran forward Jerry Bengtson returned for New England after missing four games while on Olympic duty and went straight into the starting lineup, while both Kevin Alston and A.J. Soares overcame hamstring complaints to join Bengtson amongst the starters.
The Revs had the game’s first real chance in the seventh minute when Benny Feilhaber forced a turnover in the attacking third and dished a quick pass to Sene, whose curling drive bounced inches wide of the left post. Lee Nguyen went similarly close in the 30th minute, drilling a 25-yard blast just over the crossbar.
Tierney went closer still in the 36th minute, although unintentionally as his in-swinging cross from the left wing bounced through the box untouched before rebounding off the right post and into the waiting arms of Perkins. The woodwork came to Perkins’ rescue once again in the 41st minute when Sene struck the crossbar after a fantastic feed from Nguyen and the teams went into halftime scoreless.
Montreal made one change after the break – bringing on Nyassi for Justin Mapp – and the move paid dividends in the 61st minute when Nyassi broke through. After picking the ball up near midfield, Nyassi surged toward goal on a solo run and finished off the move with a rocket into the upper right corner from the top of the box.
In response, the Revs made a pair of attack-minded substitutions, bringing on Fernando Cardenas (62nd minute) and Kelyn Rowe (66th minute) within five minutes of going behind. Shortly thereafter, Perkins was forced into a remarkable save, reaching to tip Sene’s header over the crossbar following another feed from Nguyen.
New England then had its penalty shout turned away in the 74th minute, while a stoppage-time chance from Sene was blocked harmlessly into the outside of the net.
The Revs return to the road next weekend when they visit the Chicago Fire on Saturday, Aug. 18. Kickoff from Toyota Park is set for 8:30 p.m. ET.
New England Revolution vs. Montreal Impact
August 12, 2012 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
Montreal Impact 1, New England Revolution 0
MTL – Sanna Nyassi (unassisted) 61
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Chris Tierney, Stephen McCarthy, A.J. Soares, Kevin Alston, Lee Nguyen, Clyde Simms © (Diego Fagundez 80), Benny Feilhaber (Kelyn Rowe 66), Ryan Guy, Saer Sene, Jerry Bengtson (Fernando Cardenas 62)
Substitutes Not Used: Tim Murray, Darrius Barnes, Dimitry Imbongo, Florian Lechner
STATS: Shots 17, Shots on Target 4, Corner Kicks 8, Saves 2, Fouls 6, Offsides 5, Passes Completed (percentage) 461 (81.6%), Possession 52.5%
Montreal Impact: Troy Perkins, Hassoun Camara, Dennis Iapichino, Matteo Ferrari, Jeb Brovsky, Patrice Bernier, Collen Warner, Justin Mapp (Sanna Nyassi 46), Felipe Martins, Davy Arnaud © (Lamar Neagle 86), Marco Di Vaio (Andrew Wenger 76)
Substitutes Not Used: Evan Bush, Karl Ouimette, Shavar Thomas, Sinisa Ubiparipvic
STATS: Shots 10, Shots on Target 3, Corner Kicks 1, Saves 4, Fouls 10, Offsides 4, Passes Completed (percentage) 411 (83.7%), Possession 47.5%
* Note that all statistics are unofficial
MTL – Patrice Bernier (caution) 7
NE – A.J. Soares (caution) 77
MTL – Sanna Nyassi (caution) 86
MTL – Dennis Iapichino (caution) 89
Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Greg Barkey, Peter Manikowski
Fourth Official: Niko Bratsis
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 82 degrees
New England Revolution: 6-12-5 (23 pts.)
Montreal Impact (10-13-3, 33 pts.)
- With the loss, the Revolution is now 0-2-0 against Montreal in the all-time, regular-season series dating back to the first meeting on July 1New England and Montreal will meet for a third time this season on Oct. 27, at Saputo Stadium
- The Revs are 10-11-6 all-time against expansion teams in their inaugural seasons ... that record includes two draws with the Houston Dynamo in 2006, which was considered an expansion team after relocating from San Jose.
- Since 2005, New England is 9-6-6 against expansion teams in their inaugural seasons ... the Revs went 1-5-0 against the Chicago Fire and Miami Fusion in 1998, just two years after MLS’ inaugural season
- The loss extended the Revs’ winless streak to six games (0-5-1) dating back to July 14 against Toronto … the winless streak is the team’s longest of the season and is the first string of six-winless since a six-game winless streak (0-5-1) in the final six matches of the 2011 season.
- The attacking shutout for the Revs was the team’s ninth of the season and third in four games dating back to the 0-0 finish at KC on July 21 … last season, the Revs were held scoreless 10 times in the 34-game seasonThe Revs were held scoreless in consecutive games for just the second time this season … the Revs were shut out on March 10 at San Jose and again on March 17 at Kansas City
- Jerry Bengtson returned to the starting lineup in his first Revolution action since July 14 … Bengtson started four matches and recorded three goals for Honduras’ Olympic Team after departing the Revs on July 16