Everything you need to know about the Revolution’s 3-1 win over Montreal Impact Wednesday afternoon in quickie form:
Finally, a win at home: Headed into Wednesday afternoon, it is fair to say that the whole Fortress Foxborough moniker was gone, as New England hadn’t won at home since it closed out 2019 with a win. That changed against a Montreal side that was simply lackluster, as the Revolution pretty much dominated in what was a 3-1 victory at Gillette Stadium, their first at Patriot Place since last October. The win temporarily moved the Revs up in the Eastern Conference table from seventh to sixth as NYCFC and Toronto got underway in Harrison.
Two second-half goals wraps it up: New England already had a goal to nil lead, and the Revs kept the pressure up and piled on L’Impact. Following a key takeaway by Brandon Bye, Gustavo Bou moved into a tie for the team lead with his fourth goal of the season, bouncing off the defense and slotting past Clement Diop to give the hosts a two-goal lead. Then after Diego Fagundez came on for Lee Nguyen, he nodded a loose ball into space and began a vicious counter that saw Tajon Buchanan feed him. He took a touch and fired it past Diop to give New England a three-goal advantage and the three points. But Lassi Lappalainen spoiled the clean sheet with four minutes to go in the normal 90 to pull one back for the tourists from Montreal.
Kessler gets his first: The Revolution owned more than 61 percent of the ball, had 85 percent passing accuracy, and had eight corner kicks in the first 45 minutes… but New England had great difficulty with its decision-making and its shot selection. Kelyn Rowe had a couple of near-misses, Scott Caldwell had a run in on goal and a cross to Bou, who was then indecisive with his touch. But on that eighth corner in first-half stoppage time, it was Henry Kessler who took Nguyen’s service off the chest and got his big right foot off the rebound and slotted in past Diop to give the Revolution a deserved 1-nil lead headed into the locker room, as well as his first goal in Major League Soccer.
McNamara doesn’t make squad: While Matt Polster was available for selection following his return from suspension, he did not reclaim his place in the New England XI for Wednesday afternoon’s affair on Route 1. Instead, Rowe returned to the XI in place of Tommy McNamara, who did not make the squad; he was a “late scratch” according to Brad Feldman. That was the only change for Bruce Arena’s side, with the remainder of the lineup the same from Saturday’s scoreless draw.
Scott Caldwell: 93 percent passing accuracy, and he got into the offense in the first half! Really pleased what we saw out of the former Braintree Wamp.
The substitutions: We really liked what we saw out of all five subs (sure, Adam Buksa was a tad too eager to take that feed from Cristian Penilla, who got a hard shot on-target, believe it or not). DeJuan Jones filled in admirably for Alexander Büttner, who left after half an hour after tweaking his hammy. Fagundez got a goal started. The subs were timely and gives a bit of rest for Bou, Nguyen, Bunbury, and Rowe — Polster subbed on for him — ahead of the weekend.
Brandon Bye in last 10 minutes: You want that clean sheet, you need to keep that clean sheet. Bye was caught napping, and Lassi Lappalainen made him pay. Too much space. Credit to him for the takeaway that got Bou’s goal, but he needs to be aware for the full 90.
LET’S TALK ABOUT STATS, BABY
Kelyn Rowe had four shots in the first 45 minutes
20 shots, seven on-target;. New England had 11 shots and five on-target in the second half
58.6 percent possession
85 percent passing accuracy
14 corner opportunities
WHAT SWEENS REALLY THINKS RIGHT NOW
They really needed this confidence-boosting victory today. Yes, it came against a short-handed Montreal side that has faltered as of late. You’re going up against a D.C. United side Sunday that can’t get out of its own way. Another win like this on Sunday should give New England a full head of steam going into the home stretch.
THEY SAID IT
“It was good win for us. I think it’s this time of year, for all the teams in MLS, it’s really challenging on us physically. There’s a lot of games that have been piled up, and I think you saw the Montreal team wore down a little bit. We’re fortunate to get three goals in a matter of whatever it is, 65 minutes or so, when we could take a couple players out of the game, so hopefully they’ll be a little bit more rested for our game on Sunday in D.C.”
“We’ve just been working with them on a few simple things, but we were better in possession the second half, our spacing was improved and obviously just getting a couple goals is a big improvement. We’ve been good on restarts, both attacking and defending because we’ve had some problems with defending restarts over the last two or three weeks so those things have improved, so I’m pleased with that and we look for the most part to be kind of healthy although it appears we might have picked up a few injuries today.”
Both from Bruce Arena on Revolution Postgame Live
The Revs will be back in action on Sunday night when they travel to D.C. United — weren’t they JUST there?! — for a 7 p.m. start.