Perhaps the most startling outcome of the Montreal Impact's 2-0 win over the New England Revolution on Saturday night was not the result itself, but the fact that the Montreal back line shut down a New England offense that came into the match firing on all cylinders.
Riding a five-game winning streak, the Revolution attack entered Stade Saputo averaging 3.2 goals scored and seven shots on target per game in that span. But Montreal’s efforts to force that hot New England offense to the wings paid dividends, as the likes of Diego Fagundez and Patrick Mullins - who had combined for eight goals in the last four games - received limited help from the Revolution's central midfielders in the 2-0 defeat.
“Their midfielders and their center backs did a great job of containing the middle,” said Revolution playmaker Lee Nguyen. “It was just unfortunate that we went down 2-0, so they were able to compact the box and make it difficult for us.”
It took nearly 28 minutes for New England to get a decent shot on target, but Mullins' angle on the low left side allowed Troy Perkins to make an easy save. The Revolution soon found themselves down two goals, allowing the Impact to tighten things up even more.
“Their defensive drop-in kind of allowed them to set up their counter, which is pretty lethal,” said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps.
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New England opened things up with a little more success in the second half but were unable to beat Perkins and finished with three shots on goal, their lowest total since a 1-1 tie at the Chicago Fire on April 19. The loss snapped a seven-game unbeaten streak that dated back to the last time New England were shut out, against D.C. United on April 5.
“They did a good job on our guys,” said Heaps. “They limited space and trapped us a little bit. We didn’t do a good job of solving that trap through the midfield.”