New England Revolution pummels Montreal Impact, miss playoffs for the first time since 2012

A trio of goals wasn't enough for the Revolution as they lost out to the Philadelphia Union for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot.

New England Revolution pummels Montreal Impact, miss playoffs for the first time since 2012
New England Revolution defender Jose Goncalves (left, in blue) fights with Montreal Impact forward David Choiniere (right, in white) for the ball during the Revolution's 3-0 win over the Impact on Sunday. Photo credit: Steven Senne / AP Photo.
New England Revolution
3 0
Montreal Impact
New England Revolution : (4-1-2-1-2) Cody Cropper; Andrew Farrell, London Woodberry, Jose Goncalves, Kelyn Rowe; Gershon Koffie (Daigo Kobayashi, min. 85); Scott Caldwell, Diego Fagundez (Zachary Herivaux, min. 91); Lee Nguyen; Juan Agudelo, Kei Kamara (Teal Bunbury, min. 80).
Montreal Impact: (4-3-3) Evan Bush; Donny Toia, Wandrille Lefevre, Laurent Ciman, Ambroise Oyongo; Johan Venegas, Calum Mallace, Harry Shipp (Dominic Oduro, min. 58); Michael Salazar (Ignacio Piatti, min. 58), Anthony Jackson-Hamel, David Choiniere (Lucas Ontivero, min. 76).
SCORE: 1-0, Diego Fagundez (unassisted), 13th minute; 2-0, Juan Agudelo (assisted by Scott Caldwell), 60th minute; 3-0, Kei Kamara (assisted by Diego Fagundez), 71st minute.
REFEREE: Yellow Card: Calum Mallace (Montreal Impact), 55th minute; Dominic Oduro (Montreal Impact), 64th minute; Kei Kamara (New England Revolution), 72nd minute; Johan Venegas (Montreal Impact), 83rd minute.

The New England Revolution blew out the Montreal Impact 3-0 in their regular-season finale at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on Sunday.

Even though the Revs won, they finished seven goals behind the Philadelphia Union on goal difference and therefore missed the playoffs for the first time since 2012. The Impact clinched an Eastern Conference playoff berth last weekend and will travel to RFK Stadium to take on D.C. United in a "Knockout Round" game later this week. 

The Revolution finish their season on a high 

The Revolution dominated the first half and took a deserved lead in the 13th minute. Revs midfielder Diego Fagundez was fouled outside the Impact's 18-yard-box and dusted himself off to take the free kick. The Uruguayan hit a sumptuous free-kick over the wall that brushed the right post as it flew into the net. 

In the 20th minute, the Revs missed a great chance to make it 2-0. After a Revs corner kick was only partially cleared, Revs midfielder Gershon Koffie hit a ferocious volley from the top of the box that Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush somehow saved. The rebound fell to Revs forward Kei Kamara, who smashed the ball off the underside of the crossbar. The ball bounced into the grateful hands of Bush and the Revs' chance was finally gone. 

Nine minutes late, the Revs missed another chance to double their lead. Midfielder Lee Nguyen curled in a dangerous free kick that forward Juan Agudelo was able to redirect on goal, but Impact 'keeper Bush palmed Agudelo's effort away and the Impact cleared their lines. Four minutes after Bush's save, the Impact had their best chance of the first half. Impact midfielder Johan Venegas' corner kick somehow bounced across the Revs' six-yard-box but teammate Calum Mallace headed the ball wide of goal. The Impact sorted out their defensive issues towards the end of the first half and the Revs went into halftime up by a goal. 

The Impact started the second half with a sense of urgency and could have taken the lead in the 48th minute. Impact forward David Choiniere collected a loose ball at the top of the Revs' 18-yard-box and hit a hard shot that Revs goalkeeper Cody Cropper pushed wide of goal. Ten minutes later, Impact manager Mauro Biello decided to make an attacking change, bringing on attacking players Ignacio Piatti and Dominic Oduro as his team searched for an equalizer. 

Moments after the Impact pulled a double-substitution, the Revs doubled their lead. In the 60th minute, forward Agudelo dribbled across the Impact's box and fired a left-footed strike past a diving Bush. It was Agudelo's seventh goal of the season and his first goal since October 1. 

In the 71st minute, the Revs put the game to bed. Revs midfielder Nguyen found midfielder Fagundez at the top of the Impact's box and Fagundez quickly slipped the ball to forward Kamara. Kamara's first-time shot with the outside of his right foot flew into the bottom corner of Bush's net. The goal was Kamara's seventh goal of the season and it also tied him with Agudelo for the team lead in goals. 

The Revs weren't satisfied with their three-goal lead and continued to put pressure on the Impact's beleaguered defense. In the 79th minute, Fagundez lofted a pretty, chipped pass to Revs midfielder Scott Caldwell, who headed Fagundez's pass off the crossbar. With seven minutes to go, Revs forward Agudelo found time and space in the Impact's box but curled the ball off the post. The Revs took their foot off the gas in the closing stages of the match, and when the final whistle sounded, the Revs celebrated with their home fans while the dejected Impact trudged off the field. 

Men of the match

New England Revolution: Diego Fagundez 

The 21-year-old misplaced only three passes against the Impact and finished with one goal, one assist, one key pass, and four tackles. Fagundez's free-kick goal was a thing of beauty and helped set the tone in a dominant Revs victory. Fagundez finished the 2016 MLS season with six goals and six assists but will need to increase his output if the Revs hope to earn a playoff berth next season. 

New England Revolution midfielder Diego Fagundez (right) was the man-of-the-match on Sunday. Photo credit: Winslow Townson / USA Today Sports
New England Revolution midfielder Diego Fagundez (right) was the man-of-the-match on Sunday. Photo credit: Winslow Townson / USA Today Sports

Montreal Impact: Laurent Ciman

Impact captain Laurent Ciman was the only Impact player who played well against the Revolution on Sunday. The 31-year-old Belgium international finished with nine tackles, two defensive blocks, four clearances, and five interceptions. Ciman and his back line were overrun by the Revs' attack on numerous occasions on Sunday, and the captain will need to organize his back line if the Impact hopes to advance through the Eastern Conference knockout round. Even though Ciman hasn't been at his best this year, his solid showing against the Revs shows that he is still the Impact's most consistent player. 

What's next for both teams

The Revolution will enter the offseason after missing the playoffs for the first time in four years. The Revs will likely add new faces to their back line during the offseason and may also bolster their midfield and forward corps. Revs manager Jay Heaps will look to put a disappointing 2016 season behind him as he builds his roster for 2017 and beyond. 

The Impact will travel to Washington, D.C. to face DC United in a single-elimination, Knockout Round game on either Wednesday, October 26, or Thursday, October 27. The Impact will need to solve their defensive woes if they hope to beat DC for the first time this season. DC have been one of the best teams in MLS since the start of the second half of the season, so the Impact will need to play their best 90 minutes of the season if they hope to advance past the knockout round.