New England Soccer Today

Opportunity Missed

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The stage was set for a celebratory night at Gillette Stadium, as they drew a record attendance and only needed a point against the Montreal Impact to clinch a postseason berth on the 20th birthday of the Revolution.  The playoff celebration was held off for another week, however, as the Revolution fell 1-0 on Saturday night.

Ignacio Piatti was the only player to find the scoresheet, while the Revolution were shutout by the Impact for the third time in three games in 2015.  The 42,947 fans in attendance, which set a regular season record for the Revolution, either had filed out towards the end of the second half or booed in frustration at the final whistle.  The Revolution managed only two shots on target, despite controlling the majority of possession throughout the match.

“We do like it when teams pack it in and do that and usually we’re pretty good but tonight our movement was a little bit off,” said Revolution coach Jay Heaps after the match.  “I thought we’d get a little more early service and little more penetration in different areas.  Ultimately we weren’t able to and when you have a couple guys just a little bit off, a team that’s back behind the ball is tough to break down.  We were just a little bit off.”

The Revolution actually appeared to strike first and break Montreal’s defense early, when Jermaine Jones volleyed a Chris Tierney cross from a free kick into the net in the 10th minute.  However, Jones was correctly ruled offside, and the game remained scoreless.  The remainder of the first half was relatively dull, with only one shot on target for both teams.  The Revolution appeared to be control of the match, with 80.2 percent passing accuracy, and holding the ball on the Impact’s half of the field.  After a Didier Drogba attempt in the 11th minute, the Impact failed to register a shot in the first half.

The game was turned on its head in the 55th minute when Impact forward Ignacio Piatti gathered a loose ball at midfield, ran towards goal and scored on a long-range shot that beat the extended reach of Bobby Shuttleworth.

“We were on his heels and we were there but we probably should have taken a foul,” said Heaps after the game.  “I’d like to see us sense that a guy like Piatti, if he got a little bit more pace was going to be dangerous even though it didn’t seem dangerous when he first started with the run.”

It was Piatti’s 9th goal on the season that tied him with Drogba for the team lead.

Lee Nguyen had one of the Revolution’s best chances less than two minutes later when he placed a low shot to Impact keeper Evan Bush’s left, but Bush got a hand to it to tip the ball wide of the post.  The Impact’s defense locked down and prevented the Revolution from breaking into the box.  Nguyen’s shot in the 57th minute was the last of two shots on target for the Revolution, and the last shot overall besides a stoppage time attempt by Daigo Kobayashi, which didn’t threaten the goalkeeper.

In the 79th minute, the Impact almost doubled their lead on a counter-attack when Drogba found Calum Mallace trailing the play with space on the right side of the field.  Mallace fired a long-distance shot but missed the far post by a fair margin.  The Impact had another counter attack in stoppage time, as Revolution players pushed forward leaving holes in the defense.  After numerous passes and dekes, Patrice Bernier had a clear opportunity at goal from 10 yards out, but missed his clear-cut chance and put a shot over the bar.  It was a moot point, as the remainder of the game passed slowly with no momentum or chances for the Revolution, and the 1-0 score held until full time.

The Revolution head to New York City next Sunday to close out their regular season, when they face NYC FC.  The Revolution still need a single point to clinch a playoff spot, and hold a large lead in goal differential over Orlando City even if they fail to earn a tie on the road next week.  However, with only one point in their previous four games, the Revolution will be looking for extra momentum as well as that clinching point in next week’s season finale.

“We just know we need to go into New York and we have to get a result and get points there and really go [into the playoffs] with a little momentum,” said Scott Caldwell.  “We’re disappointed in the results we’re getting [over the past few weeks] but we still believe and still know that we can do it and turn this thing around and get the result.”


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