A slow start doomed the New England Revolution as they were downed 2-0 by the Montreal Impact on Saturday night. Andres Romero put the home team ahead just three minutes into the game and Jack McInerney added the second in the 38th minute.
The Impact, who played a midweek Canadian Cup game, found success during the early minutes. A clever give-and-go between Romero and Marco Di Vaio put the Argentine midfielder in on goal. Romero then hit a powerful shot through Bobby Shuttleworth’s legs to give his team the lead.
The Impact continued to apply pressure with successive opportunities in the 17th, 18th and 20th minutes. The first came when Di Vaio received a throw-in 20 yards from goal, but the Italian fired high. Di Vaio was active again when he hit a one-time shot that was stopped by Shuttleworth. Soon after, Romero found himself alone with the keeper after beating Andrew Farrell, but Shuttleworth was up to the task.
“In this league, you can’t give a team anything,” Revolution head coach Jay Heaps commented. “Unfortunately we gave quite a bit away to Montreal and they took it. Teams give away things all the time, but sometimes they don’t take advantage. I thought Montreal did an excellent job of taking advantage of our slow start.”
The Revs were on the attack in the 28th minute when Patrick Mullins collected a long ball. The rookie was able to deceive a defender, but was unable to beat Troy Perkins.
McInerney continued his reputation as a Revolution-killer in the 38th minute when he pushed in a Shuttleworth spill. The initial shot was offered by Issey Nakajima-Farren from 25 yards out. McInerney was there to clean up the rebound for his fifth career goal against the Revs.
The Impact had a chance to add a third goal during first half stoppage time when Di Vaio was put in behind the defense. The 37-year-old beat Shuttleworth, but AJ Soares heroically sprinted back to make a crucial block.
Kelyn Rowe, who started in the place of Daigo Kobayashi, submitted the Revolution’s first real threat on goal in the 54th minute. The creative midfielder made a daring run through the midfield before firing a shot from just outside the box. Perkins was there to push the ball over the net.
The Revs would continue to struggle offensively for the remainder of the game, though they did have claim for a penalty kick in the 80th minute. The shout came when Farrell was tripped up by a Montreal defender after powering into the box. The whistled never blew as the referee motioned to play on.
The loss ended a seven game unbeaten streak for the Revs, a run that included five consecutive wins. It was also the first time that the Revolution had been shut out since April 5th.
Mullins and Diego Fagundez saw their personal streaks end on Saturday. Mullins had scored in the past four games while Fagundez had collected four goals and two assists in the last three.
The slow start was a major contributor to the Revolution’s bad night in Montreal.
“Their midfielders and their center backs did a great job of containing the middle,” Lee Nguyen said. “It was just unfortunate that we went down 2-0, so they were able to compact the box and make it difficult for us.”
The Revs will look to rectify their mistakes when they return home to play the New York Red Bulls on June 8th. The game will be the team’s final before a two-week break that coincides with group play at the World Cup.
(Image courtesy of Kari Heistad)