FOXBOROUGH — The Revolution fell to the Montreal Impact, 4-2, Sunday night at Gillette Stadium, following what the team felt was an unfair decision near the start of the game.
Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis was sent off in the fifth minute after bringing down Impact forward Marco Di Vaio.
Reis dove to his left chasing after a ball, taking down Di Vaio in the process. The ball wasn’t rolling into the goal — it rolled out of bounds just a few feet wide of the post.
The foul left referee Sorin Stoica with little choice but to call a penalty. Reis didn’t understand the straight red card, though.
“I made a play for the ball. I touched him, but I didn’t touch him very hard,” Reis said.
“For me, if he wants to give the penalty, fine. But I completely disagree with the red card. I think it’s harsh, and it changes the game. It’s not that clear-cut.”
With Reis sent off, goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth was substituted into the game for Chad Barrett, leaving New England down a man.
Revolution defender Jose Goncalves believed the referee wasn’t doing his job properly by giving a red card so early in the game.
“To start the game, the referee must calm down the game, and it’s not what he did,” Goncalves said. “The first chance he had, he gives a penalty and a red card.”
Impact midfielder Patrice Bernier buried the ensuing penalty shot into the bottom left corner, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute.
Revolution midfielder Diego Fagundez scored in the 26th minute to tie the game at 1. The midfielder tried to pass a through ball to Dimitry Imbongo behind the Montreal defense, but a defender slid in and knocked the ball loose. The ball rolled straight to Fagundez, who side-footed a shot into the goal.
But not long after the Revolution (10-10-7, 37 points) tied the game, Stoica pointed to the penalty spot again.
Goncalves made contact with Impact midfielder Felipe Martins inside the penalty box. Martins took a first touch that was leading him away from goal and rolled out of bounds.
It was enough contact for Stoica to give the Impact (13-7-6, 45 points) another penalty, and Bernier netted his second penalty shot in the 33d minute.
Goncalves did not receive a yellow or red card, but stood still with his arms in the air in disbelief after the referee called the foul.
“You can see that Felipe was flying everywhere in the field when someone touched him, so the referee should be aware of that,” said Goncalves.
“He didn’t consider this as a trait for the game, and he gave the penalty straightaway. I was surprised.”
Right before halftime, Impact defender Hassoun Camara knocked a pass into the path of Di Vaio. The forward took a touch to his right and fired a shot passed Shuttleworth, putting the Impact up, 3-1.
As the teams walked off the field at halftime, Goncalves walked over to Martins for a mildly heated discussion.
“I just told him he must stay on his feet and play the game, and not dance around the ball,” Goncalves said.
Di Vaio struck again in the 55th. He controlled a long pass and fired the shot past Shuttleworth, giving the Impact a 4-1 lead with his league-leading 17th goal of the season.
In the 76th minute, Revolution midfielder Kelyn Rowe curled a dipping shot inside the far post to cut Montreal’s lead to 4-2. But it was too little, too late for the Revolution.
New England coach Jay Heaps summed up the game for his team bluntly — but accurately — when giving a seven-word opening statement at his postgame press conference.
“It was a tough game for us.”