The New England Revolution had a shot at a rare and precious road victory against the Montreal on Wednesday night, but squandered the opportunity as the expansion side prevailed 2-1 in the two clubs' first-ever meeting. Lee Nguyen scored a goal-of-the-year candidate to draw the match level in the first half, but it was goals from Patrice Bernier and Sanna Nyassi that gave favor to the winning side.
The first half started well for the Revolution, including a breakaway opportunity for Saer Sene that resulted in a blocked shot from Lee Nguyen. However, as the minutes passed, the chances came fewer and the home side began taking the initiative, forcing two early saves out of Matt Reis.
It was a defensive mistake from the Revs that caused the first goal. Chris Tierney brought down Sanna Nyassi in the box with an ill-advised tug on the shoulder, giving Patrice Bernier the chance from the spot. It took three tries as referee Fotis Bazakos called Bernier's first two attempts back, but the Impact fan-favorite managed to convert his third effort to put the home side ahead.
The half wore on with more scrappy play, and although the Revs had a few chances, they were never able to find the final pass or the shot they needed to get on the scoresheet. Sene again had a good chance on a breakaway in the 37th minute, but his left-footed effort was saved by Donovan Ricketts.
It took Lee Nguyen creating something out of nothing to put the Revs on the board. In the 44th minute, he received the ball in midfield from Kelyn Rowe and strode forward in space. Instead of attacking that space, he spied Ricketts off his line and launched an excellent dipping shot that beat Ricketts before coming off the post, then the keeper's back to nestle into the goal. It was originally scored an own goal, but MLS later overturned the decision, awarding the goal to Nguyen and an assist to Rowe.
The second half continued much as the first had gone, until Jay Heaps made the controversial decision to bring on Blake Brettschneider for Clyde Simms in an obvious attacking substitution. It was strange to see Brettschneider and not fit-again Jose Moreno, but either way the Revs appeared to lose some shape and discipline without Simms on the pitch, and then they paid for it.
Kevin Alston lost the ball and left too much space for Justin Mapp on the left, and the longtime MLS veteran lofted a far-post cross that Sanna Nyassi, twin brother to the Revs' Sainey Nyassi, ripped home off the volley to give Montreal the go-ahead goal.
New England managed some pressure near the end, but their finishing and passing in the final third let them down as Montreal rode out the victory.