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Travel-worn Montreal Impact stun New England Revolution 3-0

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The Montreal Impact showed up the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium Wednesday night.

Shamit Shome pounced on an error by Revolution goalkeeper Cody Cropper to score the game’s opening goal in the 79th minute, then second half substitute Anthony Jackson-Hamel added his team’s second and third strikes in the 85th and 93rd minutes, respectively, as part of a late-game brace to push the Impact (4-3-2, 14 points) to second in the Eastern Conference.

The 10th place Revolution (2-6-1, 7 points), who are 7 points behind Montreal in the standings, have now lost four times at home this season. All four of the losses have been shutouts.

Montreal seemed poised to make a statement all night, even though they lobbied Major League Soccer officials to postpone Wednesday’s match after its Tuesday commercial flight out of Canada got canceled. MLS denied Montreal’s appeal and the game kicked off on schedule, shortly after 7:30 p.m. ET.

However, the team’s charter was delayed and didn’t arrive in Boston until early Wednesday afternoon.

“All credit to Remi Garde and his team,” Revolution coach Brad Friedel said. “They had terrible travel conditions getting here and they worked harder than we did.”

“In the first half, I’ll take the blame – not my staff, not the players – I obviously didn’t motivate the players to be up for the game.”

Montreal’s first goal came as Cropper bobbled and dropped a shot off a Daniel Lovitz free kick from roughly 20 yards out.  Shome crashed into the six-yard box to poke the loose ball into the back of the net, giving the Impact a lead they would not relinquish.

Anthony Jackson-Hamel, who entered the game as a substitute in the 71st minute, doubled his team’s advantage by finishing a feed from the left flank by Lovitz.

Jackson-Hamel then buried a breakaway in the third minute of second-half stoppage time to make it 3-0.

“Disappointed, make a mistake like that, it’s on you,” Cropper said of his error on the Impact’s first goal. “I apologized to the players after the game, I took the blame, now it’s time to move on.

I had to come up with some saves but overall, we were solid defensively, and unfortunately I switch off for half a second and make that mistake, cost a goal, but we have to be able to bounce back. We have to be stronger.”

It wasn’t apparent once the game kicked off that Montreal had endured a travel headache getting to Foxborough.

“Maybe they’ll fly the day of the game next game, I don’t know,” Juan Agudelo said after the game from his seat in a deserted Revolution locker room.

The Impact outshot the Revolution 10-0 in the first half and bossed possession for a majority of the game as they stymied the flow of passes to and from New England midfielder Carles Gil.

Cropper made a double-save in the 10th minute, first dropping low to parry an effort from outside the box by Zachary Brault-Guillard, then emerging quickly to block Michael Azira from point-blank range.

Impact winger Orji Okonkwo then banked a shot off the crossbar in the 19th minute after getting by Revolution defender Andrew Farrell.

Next, Maximiliano Urruti forced Cropper to dive right and knock away a 42nd-minute free kick.

The Revolution came out with more vigor in the second half, but produced very little in front of an announced crowd of 9,422.

Michael Mancienne glanced a header wide off a Carles Gil corner kick in the 53rd minute, then Juan Agudelo headed an effort off the crossbar in the 65th minute off a service by Diego Fagundez.

New England, which has struggled to produce shots on goal this season, didn’t threaten in the run of play Wednesday.

 “I’m actually going crazy about why we’re not even getting shots on target off, what’s the reason we can’t test the keeper – make the keeper do his job – so got to figure something out soon,” Agudelo added.

“It sucks. We didn’t play well in the first half. I think we responded the beginning of the second half, but overall it’s got to be better, especially at home. It’s just got to be better from everyone of us.”

Montreal and New England have an all-time record of 10-10-2. 

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