Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
Playing in their third straight game against a playoff-caliber opponent, the New England Revolution traveled north to Canada and passed their test against the Montreal Impact with flying colors.
The Revolution extended their unbeaten run to four games with a 1-0 victory over the Impact at Stade Saputo on Saturday afternoon, putting them within striking distance of a playoff spot. Despite the return of Hernan Bernardello to the lineup for the Impact, they still slumped to their fourth defeat in five games.
Following a couple of early chances from Revolution midfielders Lee Nguyen and Saer Sene, the visitors lost Sene in the 19th minute in what the club later diagnosed as a dislocated ankle and fractured left fibula. It’s the second major injury in the past two seasons for Sene after he suffered a torn ACL in August 2012. In Sene’s place, Revolution head coach Jay Heaps brought on Dimitry Imbongo.
In the 31st minute, due to some lazy defending inside the box, Revolution midfielder Diego Fagundez was able to find space and fire a cross low across goal. The ball looked to deflect off his teammate Juan Agudelo before finding the foot of Jose Gonçalves, who slammed a strike home to give his side the lead.
The Impact hardly looked like scoring for the rest of the game, with their best chance coming in the 41st minute as Andres Romero stole the ball and set up teammate Marco Di Vaio. However, Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis was up to the task and did well to save Di Vaio’s blast on target.
Impact defender Alessandro Nesta had one more chance for the hosts in the second half with a header off a corner kick, but the ball fell harmlessly wide as the Revolution held off the one-time leaders of the Eastern Conference.
With two games remaining, the Revolution are just one point outside of a playoff place while Impact are just a point ahead of not making the playoffs all together.
Here are the game highlights: