Postseason fever is alive and well in Foxborough thanks to an impressive performance north of the border.
Jose Goncalves scored early to send the New England Revolution (12-11-9, 45 points) to a critical 1-0 victory over the Montreal Impact (13-11-7, 46 points) on Saturday at Stade Saputo.
The win lifted the Revolution into the fifth and final postseason berth for the time being, while the loss kept the Impact from overtaking third place from the Dynamo.
• What it means: Saturday’s win was exactly what the Revolution needed to keep their postseason hopes from fading away. In the week leading up to the conference clash, coach Jay Heaps preached the importance of cleaning up mistakes after defensive miscues prevented the Revolution from getting maximum points against Houston and at New York in the last two weeks. But this time, the defense put together a performance reminiscent of its early season form, and it carried the Revolution to their first road win in nearly three months. And it was only fitting that center back Jose Goncalves, who was the strongest defender on the pitch on Saturday, would score the game-winner.
• Stat of the game: Saturday’s 1-0 win was the first clean sheet collected by the Revolution since July 20, when they secured a 2-0 win at Columbus.
• Sene suffers serious injury: Saer Sene was forced to exit the game early after suffering a serious a left leg injury. In the 18th minute, Sene took a nifty give-and-go pass from Juan Agudelo and looked poised to test Perkins. But Davy Arnaud raced over to make the tackle, which forced the Revolution winger to crash to the pitch in obvious pain. Recognizing the severity of the injury, players on the scene from both teams immediately called over the Revolution training staff to attend to the injured Sene, who had to be carried off the field on a stretcher. He was replaced by Dimitry Imbongo.
• Nguyen suspended for Columbus: Lee Nguyen’s yellow card will force him to miss next week’s match against Columbus due to yellow card accumulation.
• Lineup unchanged: Heaps made no changes to the lineup he used in last week’s 2-2 draw at Red Bull Arena last week. However, with Jerry Bengtson unavailable due to international duty with Honduras, former Boston College Eagle Charlie Davies was added to the bench after he failed to make the trip to New York last week.
• Alston makes rare appearance: Kevin Alston came on in the 63rd minute for an injured Imbongo. It was Alston’s first appearance since starting in an Aug. 10 contest at Sporting Kansas City.
• Next up: The Revolution return to Gillette Stadium for their final regular season home game of 2013 on Saturday, Oct. 19, when they host the Columbus Crew. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm.