It was rough, it was dirty, it was ugly, but it was a win. The New England Revolution bunkered in and didn't play particularly well, but they still pulled out a 1-0 win over the Montreal Impact at Stade Saputo. It was their ninth win of the season - also their first-ever in Canada - and it means that the Revs finish the 2012 season on a two-match winning streak.
The goal came in the 88th minute through A.J. Soares. Ryan Guy smartly earned a foul on the right side of the Impact penalty box. Chris Tierney stepped up to take the kick with his cultured left foot, and his delivery was true, finding the head of Soares at the near post. The second-year defender directed his header to the far post and past Troy Perkins for the lead.
The goal could not have come more against the run of play. Montreal recovered from a stagnant first half to slice and dice through the Revolution defenses, firing off shot after shot and requiring Bobby Shuttleworth to stand on his head just to keep his team in the game. Marco di Vaio was a terror, and the inclusion of Justin Mapp in the 71st minute turned the screws even harder on the visitors as his speedy runs and rocketed shots gave New England fits on the flanks and in the box.
After a totally professional performance last week against Chicago, it was a little troubling to see the Revs regress into a frantic, defensive style with little cohesion and mostly poor ball movement. While a number of players put in good shifts against the Fire, only Shuttleworth and the two center-backs can honestly claim to have played particularly well in this match, and everyone's passing was suspect at best.
The offseason will likely be focused on continuing to build on the core here, with Jay Heaps still looking to put his mark on this team. A full offseason with the club for Jerry Bengtson and Juan Toja should also be very beneficial for both players.