Alistair Johnston broke the deadlock in the second half and CF Montreal defeated the New England Revolution 1-0 on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
In a match that will not go down in history, Johnston accepted a fine pass from Romell Quioto before unleashing a quick shot that moved the strings. It was his fourth goal of the season.
Even before signing this victory, CF Montreal (18-9-5) had made sure to at least finish 2nd in the Eastern Association. The third-placed New York Red Bulls lost earlier on Saturday. With 59 points to their name, CF MTL are five points behind the Philadelphia Union and the 1er rank in the East. Both teams have two more games to play on the regular schedule.
The Montreal troupe remained undefeated in its last four outings (3-0-1) and they beat the Revolution (9-12-11) for the second time in less than a month, after signing a victory of 4- 0 at Saputo Stadium.
CF Montreal also won a sixth consecutive game on opposing courts, which equals an MLS record.
The Revolution suffered a third straight loss and saw their playoff chances in the East take a hit. With two games to go, they are three points behind the Columbus Crew, who are in seventh place.
Midfielder Djordje Mihailovic picked up a yellow card in the 68th minute and will be suspended for the next game due to an accumulation of cards.
As for Finnish midfielder Lassi Lappalainen, he once again missed a game with the Bleu-blanc-noir due to an adductor injury. Head coach Wilfried Nancy, however, mentioned earlier this week that he was close to a return to action.
CF Montreal will return to action in two weeks, following an international break. He will host DC United at his home on October 1.
The Montrealers had an excuse to put on a more timid show in the first half, but the Revolution didn’t play like a team that absolutely had to win to stay in the thick of the fight in the East.
The home side’s best chance came in the 12th minute, when Matt Polster fired a low shot that Sebastian Breza blocked by diving to his left.
Meanwhile, the Montreal squad played their defensive style and didn’t let their opponent get close to Breza’s net. Except at the start of the second half. Justin Rennicks thought he had opened the scoring, but after sending the ball into the net, the official raised the flag to show he was offside.
Attacks were unthreatening until CF Montreal scored in the 72nd minute. Kamal Miller made a nice sliding tackle and the ball was picked up by a teammate. After a long pass in the direction of Quioto, the Honduran made a precise delivery towards Johnston, who did not miss this golden opportunity.
The Bleu-blanc-noir then closed the game defensively to confirm their victory.