FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Revolution got the home cooking they needed on Saturday night against the Montreal Impact, knocking off a fellow playoff hopeful for the second straight weekend to move within a point of Atlanta United in the race for sixth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Revolution’s unheralded defense notched its fourth straight home shutout, while Lee Nguyen buried the go-ahead goal inside the left post from 15 yards out in the 68th minute to send the hosts to a 1-0 victory over the struggling Impact in front of 20,080 at Gillette Stadium.
Revs goalkeeper Cody Cropper only made two saves, but set the tone with a save on Impact captain Ignacio Piatti 38 seconds in as New England went on to increase its home shutout streak to 372 minutes.
The Impact missed a golden opportunity in the 48th minute as right back Chris Duvall came forward to one-touch a centering ball across the face of goal, but Anthony Jackson-Hamel sent an open look wide right from 10 yards out.
The Revs nearly added a second goal two minutes after Nguyen’s tally, but Impact keeper Evan Bush (6 saves) parried a Diego Fagundez volley off the crossbar. Kei Kamara sent a shot on the rebound off the crossbar.
The Revolution (10-12-5) haven’t lost at home since July, but unfortunately for them, they’re taking their 0-10-3 road record down to Mercedes-Benz Stadium to play Atlanta United on Wednesday night before traveling to play at Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.
After looking like one of the hottest teams in MLS less than a month ago, the Impact (10-11-6) have now lost three straight games. They’ll try to get their mojo back at home next Saturday against Minnesota United FC.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Nguyen was stellar for a second straight match, following up a four-assist game with the only goal in a must-win game. Nguyen led the Revolution in shots (4) and touches (77), completed 82.2% of his passes and even drew four fouls as he was right in the middle of the action the entire night.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Nguyen’s goal was a moment of individual brilliance, as he avoided tackles by Laurent Ciman and Victor Cabrera and then froze Shaun Francis in his tracks to maintain enough space to get off his game-winner. Nguyen has really asserted himself lately as the Revs’ go-to playmaker.
MATCH TO FORGET
The Impact didn’t look particularly sharp as a unit on either end of the field, but the spotlight falls on Jackson-Hamel, who didn’t create much offensively on Saturday and missed an easy finish during a 0-0 game at the time.