By RYAN TOLMICH
Although it was little more than a formality at this point, the New England Revolution are bound for the MLS Cup Playoffs.
The Revs locked up their postseason position Saturday by overcoming a Marco Di Vaio brace to earn a draw with the Montreal Impact, 2-2, at Stade Saputo via a second-half equalizer from midfielder Lee Nguyen.
Nguyen’s 69th minute finish came via a lobbed effort from distance, as the Revs midfielder’s chip deflected off of the Impact’s Calub Mallace and into the back of the net.
Mallace had previously played a crucial part in the game’s opener, as the Impact defender picked up the assist on Di Vaio’s first goal of the night in the 12th minute.
Di Vaio darted through the Revs backline and remained onside as Mallace played him through. The Italian forward proceeded to fire a shot with his first touch to beat Revs goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth to give his side the early lead.
The Revs found their equalizer just four minutes later through Kelyn Rowe, who played a one-two with forward Charlie Davies before beating goalkeeper Evan Bush to his right to tie the score at one.
Things remained level until just before halftime, when Di Vaio netted his second of the night and eighth of the 2014 MLS season.
The Impact forward, who is set to retire at season’s end, got on the end of yet-another long ball, this time from Andres Romero. Di Vaio proceeded to corral the ball before firing to Shuttleworth’s right to give the hosts a 2-1 lead.
That one-goal advantage remained until the 69th minute, when Nguyen’s chipped effort earned the Revs a share of the points and a spot in the postseason.
With the draw, the Revs move level with Sporting KC for second place with 49 points. The Revs next action will see the team continue on the road with an Oct. 16 with a trip to Houston to take on the Dynamo. Meanwhile, the Montreal Impact will play their penultimate game Oct. 18 against Canadian rival Toronto FC.
Check out highlights from the match below: