MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact fell 3-2 to the New England Revolution Sunday at Stade Saputo, for what was the last game of the 2017 season. It was also the last career game of midfielder and captain Patrice Bernier, who found the back of the net in the first half on a penalty.
“It’s disappointing to end it this way. It symbolises our season a bit,” said Impact head coach Mauro Biello. “We had good moments, and other moments when we gave away chances to the opposition. Once again, we gave three easy goals. But tonight, we honoured a great career. I am glad that Patrice was able to score in front of his fans and family.”
Tribute to Patrice Bernier
Before the game, a ceremony was held to highlight the Impact captain’s career. The 20,681 supporters present at Stade Saputo were particularly loud and enthusiastic when it came to cheering on their captain for one last time.
In the 5th minute, a defensive error by the Revs allowed Anthony Jackson-Hamel to break through behind the defense and to send the ball into the run of Andrés Romero, who could not beat goalkeeper Brad Knighton.
In the 19th minute, the visitors took the lead. Krisztian Németh was found by Diego Fagundez and shot directly on the post, but Fagundez was at the right place to pick up the rebound and slot the ball easily into the net.
The Impact came very close to levelling the score in the 36th minute. Shaun Francis was causing issues at the first post off an Impact corner, allowing the ball to find its way to Jackson-Hamel’s feet. His ensuing shot from just six metres away was directly on Knighton who easily made the save.
In first half stoppage time, Jackson-Hamel, inside the box, sent a shot towards New England’s goal. The ball was tipped by Benjamin Angoua’s arm and head referee Rubiel Vazquez signalled for a penalty, which was duly converted by Patrice Bernier with his typical step-up. This was his 20th career goal with the Impact, which allows him to bypass Grant Needham in ninth position in this chapter of the club’s history.
Difficult start to the second
Immediately after the game restarted, the Impact allowed a goal that was difficult to swallow. An inaccurate back pass was easily intercepted by Fagundez. He quickly passed the ball to Németh, who easily tucked it into an empty net.
The final goodbyes from Patrice Bernier to the crowd happened in the 82nd minute, when the captain was subbed off; with tears in his eyes, he offered his farewells to the fans and to his teammates.
In the 90th minute, the Bleu-blanc-noir levelled the score through Matteo Mancosu, who deflected a cross from Ballou Tabla from the right behind Knighton.
The Revs managed to sneak away with the three points at the very last second when Kelyn Rowe, from about 25 metres out, beat Maxime Crépeau with a hard and precise shot.
The Impact thus finishes its season in ninth position in the Eastern Conference with a record of 11 wins, 17 losses and six draws.
MTL – GK-Maxime Crépeau; D-Shaun Francis, Deian Boldor, Laurent Ciman, Daniel Lovitz; M-Patrice Bernier (Shamit Shome 82’), Samuel Piette (Matteo Mancosu 84’), Ignacio Piatti, Blerim Dzemaili, Andrés Romero (Ballou Tabla 65’); F-Anthony Jackson-Hamel
Unused subs – Evan Bush, Louis Béland-Goyette, Dominic Oduro, Michael Salazar
NE – GK-Brad Knighton; D- Chris Tierney, Claude Dielna, Benjamin Angoua, Andrew Farrell; M-Diego Fagundez (Kelyn Rowe 87’), Gershon Koffie, Juan Agudelo (Kei Kamara 79’), Scott Caldwell, Teal Bunbury; F-Krisztian Németh (Xavier Kouassi 74’)
Unused subs – Cody Cropper, Antonio Mlinar Delamea, Je-Vaughn Watson, Daigo Kobayashi
NE – Fagundez 19’
MTL – Bernier (PK) 45’
NE – Nemeth (Fagundez) 46’
MTL – Mancosu (Ballou) 90’
NE – Rowe (Kamara) 90’+6’
MTL – Ciman 43’
NE – Angoua 45’
MTL – Romero 51’
MTL – Dzemaili 62’
NE – Tierney 84’