Los Angeles (AFP) – Gustavo Bou scored a stoppage-time winner as the New England Revolution sent Thierry Henry’s Montreal Impact crashing out of Major League Soccer’s play-offs at the first hurdle with a 2-1 defeat.
A hard-fought contest at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough appeared to be heading for extra-time after Montreal’s Romell Quioto had equalised to cancel out the Revs’ first-half opener from Carles Gil.
New England laid siege to the Montreal goal in the final frantic minutes, forcing Impact goalkeeper Clement Diop into a string of fine saves as the tension mounted.
Diop produced a superb diving save to tip Matt Polster’s header onto the post in the 92nd minute and it looked as if Montreal had done enough to force extra time.
But in the dying seconds of the fifth minute of stoppage time, New England left back DeJuan Jones squared to Bou on the edge of the Montreal penalty area.
The Impact defence backed off, and the 30-year-old former Racing player took a touch before thumping a low shot past the despairing Diop into the bottom corner from 25 yards.
It was a disappointing end to a first season in charge of Montreal for Henry, the former France, Arsenal and Barcelona superstar.
Earlier, Bou had created New England’s opener for Spanish midfielder Gil seven minutes before half-time.
The Argentinian spotted Gil in space at the far post and chipped a perfectly weighted diagonal ball to the Spaniard, who drilled a first-time volley past Diop to make it 1-0.
Montreal got back into the game in the 61st minute however after Quioto punished poor marking from a free kick to head past Matt Turner for 1-1.
New England will face either Philadelphia Union or Toronto FC in the opening round of the Eastern Conference play-offs, depending on the result of Friday’s other game between Inter Miami and Nashville.
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