For the third consecutive game, the New England Revolution fell behind on an early goal. And for the third consecutive week, the Revs came from behind to claim all three points and extend their current form and winning streak.
Kelyn Rowe and Lee Nguyen scored minutes apart in the first half, cancelling out an early Callum Mallace opener, as the Revolution tied their season long winning streak at five in a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Impact at Gillette Stadium.
The Revolution started the game off well, dominating the opening minutes and putting a lot of pressure on Montreal. But a long ball over the top in the 13th minute down the left flank started an Impact counter and Montreal striker Jack McInerney came off better during a tangle with Revs defender Andrew Farrell. McInerney carried the ball into the box past a fallen Farrell and centered to Mallace who calmly redirected the pass into an empty net for a 1-0 Impact lead as Revs keeper Bobby Shuttleworth was forced off his line to cut off McInerney.
This did not stop the Revolution however from continuing their pressure on Troy Perkin's goal, and in the 23rd minute the Revs had their equalizer. Jermaine Jones put in a dangerous cross into the penalty area and the initial effort was cleared by Montreal, but Kelyn Rowe was able to win the ball back and volleyed home a hard, dipping shot that Impact keeper Troy Perkins was only able to partially deflect. The goal was Rowe third this season to go along with five assists for the third-year midfielder.
It would only take a couple of minutes for the Revs to net again, and this one was pretty.
The Revolution create a turnover in near midfield, and Daigo Kobayashi collected the ball and passed it upfield to Lee Nguyen. Nguyen turned and started to carry upfield and then backheeled the ball to Jermaine Jones and Jones chipped the ball up for Charlie Davies. It was a flick on from Davies that Lee Nguyen would eventually latch onto after fighting off a shielding effort from the Impact defense before chipping the ball up and over a helpless Perkins for the Revs second goal.
Halftime brought some bad news for the Revolution as Jones was subbed off for Scott Caldwell at halftime. Early reports from the Revolution was that it was a left foot injury and Kyle McCarthy has tweets from who Jay Heaps said after the game that Jones has a contusion and was taken off as a precaution and that Jones left the game in a walking boot. Also in the 48th minute, Teal Bunbury was booked for persistent infringement and will miss the Revs next game due to yellow card accumulation.
But the game changer in the second half would be a 62nd minute red card to Impact defender Krzysztof Krol, who chopped down Rowe from behind while already on a caution. Center referee Allen Kelly had an easy decision in the second caution and gave Krol his marching orders and the Impact an even bigger task in trying to claim a point.
In the end, the Revolution could not solve the 10-man Impact in the final half hour although it wasn't from lack of trying. Lee Nguyen had a shot in the 65th minute saved off the line by Impact right back Eric Miller and Troy Perkins was called into action on several occasions including stellar saves on Charlie Davies in the 69th and on a Nguyen set piece in the 89th. But despite Perkins' heroics, the Impact could not muster much attack and head coach Frank Yallop opted to keep big guns Marco Di Vaio and Ignacio Piatti on the bench with a CONCACAF Champions League match against the New York Red Bulls looming midweek.
With the win the Revolution maintain their third place standing in the MLS Eastern Conference and trail Sporting Kansas City by just three points with a game in hand. D.C. United leads with 47 points.
The Revolution will be on the road at the Columbus Crew next week, Saturday September 20th for a 730PM EST kickoff from Crew Stadium.