July 18, 2012
Revs fall to Impact, still winless in Canada
MONTREAL---The New England Revolution remained winless north of the border (0-3-5) as they dropped a 2-1 decision to the expansion Montreal Impact in their first trip to Stade Saputo.
Sanna Nyassi figured in both Montreal goals, gaining a first half penalty that Patrice Bernier converted and producing the second-half winner on a highlight reel volley off a Justin Mapp cross.
The loss was the second in a row for the Revolution (6-9-4, 22 points) after a five-game unbeaten streak, as Jesse Marsch bested Jay Heaps in a match-up of thirty-something first-year head coaches with distinguished MLS resumes.
A pair of Matt Reis saves kept the Impact (7-8-4, 25 points) off the board early, but in the 26th minute, Nyassi earned an opportunity for the home side, going down in the box after reaching for a through pass from 36-year-old Serie A veteran Marco Di Vaio and feeling Chris Tierneyís hand on his shoulder.
Well-traveled Montreal veteran Bernier nailed the spot kick, succeeding a third time after referee Fotis Bazakos made him retake two attempts that also found the net.
New England again struggled to get on track in the opening frame, a Saer Sene quick-draw left-footer in traffic forcing the only save from Donovan Ricketts.
The Revolution looked destined to go to the locker room a goal down when Lee Nguyen collected a 45th minute Kelyn Rowe feed and lined up a 35-yard riser that eluded a leaping Ricketts, rebounded off the crossbar, bounced off the heel of Ricketts as the Montreal goalkeeper touched down, and rolled into the net for an own-goal equalizer.
The Revolution caught a break five minutes from intermission as Bazakos chose to ignore Barnes wrapping a hand around Davy Arnaud as the long-time Kansas City man hit the turf on his way through the box.
But in the 68th minute, Nyassi once again victimized the Revolution as an unmarked Mapp crossed from the left corner to the far post and the Gambian international and twin brother of New Englandís Sainey drilled a right-footed volley between Reis and the woodwork for his third goal of the campaign.
Reis kept the deficit at one goal in the 74th minute as he came far off his line to thwart a Di Vaio threat, but New England couldnít find another response, generating only a few late half-chances.
Jay Heaps made several changes to the Revolutionís recently favored 4-2-3-1 formation after Saturdayís home loss to Toronto.
Reis was back in goal after giving way to Bobby Shuttleworth for two games, and Darrius Barnes got the start alongside iron man A.J. Soares in central defense. Barnes replaced Stephen McCarthy, who left the Toronto game after a first minute collision and stayed home in Boston with lingering concussion-like symptoms.
In the midfield, Ryan Guy made his first start since May 26th on the right, Rowe returned from a one-game suspension to take a spot on the left, and Nguyen moved to the center, with Benny Feilhaber and Clyde Simms directing traffic from deep positions.
Blake Brettschneider replaced Simms in the 65th minute as Heaps switched to an offensive-minded 4-4-2 with the game drawn at one goal apiece, but the forward only managed to fan on two separate decent opportunities while Montreal capitalized on the defensive vacancy to seize the victory.
Though he wasnít listed as unavailable on the injury report, Shalrie Joseph didnít suit up for the match, turning the armband over to Simms.