It was a win that didn’t come easily by any means.
Pitted against an adversary that played their strongest soccer at home, the Revolution contained the Impact’s relentless attack at Stade Saputo and came out with a 1-0 victory on Saturday.
“It was tough for us (on Saturday), there’s no doubt about that,” Revolution midfielder Chris Tierney said after the game. “We didn’t pass particularly well, but what we did do was we got the lucky bounce we needed that we haven’t gotten this year.”
While passing wasn’t their forte on Saturday, the Revolution made up for it in front of their net -- where they defended in numbers and thwarted several of Montreal’s offensive chances.
Granted, Marco Di Vaio (seven shots) and Davy Arnaud (two shots) may have found space to roam. And, yes, there may have been a few occasions in which the Revolution all but extended a formal invitation for the Impact to score.
“We absorbed all their pressure and defended really well,” Revolution center back A.J. Soares said after the game. “There wasn’t one guy not working out there.”
One player who certainly kept working was Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, who collected a career-high seven saves on Saturday afternoon. His biggest save came in the 73rd minute after Justin Mapp slipped past Guy and fired a high-caliber shot that Shuttleworth parried away.
Even though they weren’t able to muster much in front of Montreal’s net, the Revolution survived the Impact’s advances long enough to capitalize on a fortuitous opportunity in the 88th minute.
After Ryan Guy was fouled along the right edge of the area, Tierney stood behind the ball and delivered a curling cross that glanced off Soares’ forehead and fell into the back of the net.
“It was a perfect ball,” Soares said. “I just had to give the guy half a foot of room, jump up, get my head to it and it was going in. The service was perfect.”
Tierney’s service may have been perfect, but on the whole, the Revolution were far from it on Saturday.
Yet, for all the times this season in which the effort and technique was there but the final product wasn’t, Tierney commended the team’s resolve to stay focused when the execution faltered.
“It’s good to know that we can win when we have to dig in and grab one out,” Tierney said. “You (have) to win this way in this league. It’s just the way it is. You’re not always going to have your best stuff, but if you can dig in and find a way like we did (on Saturday), you’re going to win games."