MONTREAL — Video review was used in an Impact game for the first time this season and it did not go Montreal's way.
The referee used the video review technology to change a yellow card into a red card and the 10-man Montreal Impact went on to lose 1-0 against the Chicago Fire on Saturday.
Montreal was left shorthanded when defender Deian Boldor, making his Impact debut, was sent off for a challenge on Bastian Schweinsteiger in the 50th minute.
Schweinsteiger went on to score the only goal of the game.
"It was not as bad as it seemed," said Boldor, who joined the Impact on loan this summer. "I'm sad because we lost the game. I put my team in a bad situation. I never took a red card before in my life. It's my first. I'm mad because it was a good game before the red card.
"When I saw it was red, I couldn't believe it. He (the referee) destroyed a beautiful game."
Referee Baldomero Toledo initially gave Boldor a yellow card for his dangerous studs-up challenge on Schweinsteiger's calf. Upon the recommendation of the Video Assistant Referee, Toledo then went to the video review booth and chose to give Boldor a red instead.
"He reaches for the ball but I'm not sure there's even contact," said Montreal head coach Mauro Biello of the challenge. "It has to be 100 per cent convincing that it's a red card. If it's not conclusive, the call on the field has to stand.
"It's subjective in the end. There's someone looking at it who felt it was a red. I've seen tackles like that not even given a yellow in the past.
"You can't give a red card just because it's Schweinsteiger."
Seven minutes after Boldor walked off the pitch, Schweinsteiger scored his third goal in a Chicago uniform as the Fire snapped their four-game losing skid in MLS.
The 33-year-old was left alone in the box when he got on the end of a low cross from Matt Polster for the easy side-footed tap-in, his first goal since April 15.
The goal was one of two shots on target for Chicago (13-9-5) in the encounter. Montreal (10-10-6) also finished the game with two shots on net.
Schweinsteiger, who was taken out of the game in the 79th minute, was icing his calf in the locker-room after the match.
"The kick with the red card, you could see the calf, the inside of the calf," said Schweinsteiger. "I will see how it goes this week.
"The red card was maybe not ideal for Montreal but it was also not a smart move from the defender."
The seventh-place Impact, playing their final match of a four-game homestand, have now lost two in a row since winning four straight.
Ignacio Piatti, who had scored in five consecutive games coming into Saturday's contest, came close to equalizing when his shot hit the post in the 80th minute. He also had a chance in stoppage time, but goalkeeper Matt Lampson made an easy save.
It's the first time Montreal has failed to score a goal at home in MLS in 21 games, dating back to Aug. 20, 2016.
The Impact have eight games remaining this season. Five of those are away from Saputo Stadium.
"It won't be easy (making the playoffs)," said captain Patrice Bernier. "There are a lot of games on the road. We all need to play our best soccer. Every game has to be played like it's a final. Eight games. Eight finals."
Midfielder Andres Romero made his first start for the Impact since tearing his ACL in October 2015. The 27-year had only made three substitute appearances since. He played 66 minutes before coming off for Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla.
Montreal was without four key players on international duty: Blerim Dzemaili (Switzerland), Laurent Ciman (Belgium), Anthony Jackson-Hamel (Canada) and Samuel Piette (Canada). Defender Shaun Francis (Jamaica), who has yet to start for the Impact, was also absent.
As a result, homegrown midfielder Louis Beland-Goyette made his third start of the season.
Notes: Attendance at Saputo Stadium was 19,619. … The video review technology was introduced in MLS on Aug. 5.
Kelsey Patterson, The Canadian Press