New England Soccer Today

Last-Second Draw

Chris Tierney’s 94th minute goal gave the Revs a 2-2 draw on Saturday night. (Photo: Tony Biscaia/RevsNet)

Last place Toronto FC put the New England Revolution in a 2-0 hole heading into halftime, but the Revs battled back to grab a deserved draw in front of 18,877 at BMO Field in Toronto on Saturday night.

Toronto (1-10-2, 5 points) went ahead in just the fourth minute through Danny Koevermans, then doubled their lead in the 42nd minute through Ryan Johnson as the Revs failed to deal with crosses in both instances. But, the Revs (5-7-3, 18 points) battled back in the second half with Blake Brettschneider halving the deficit in the 70th minute and Chris Tierney grabbing the equalizer four minutes into stoppage time.

Despite Toronto’s poor form this season, it was always going to be a difficult match for the Revs with captain Shalrie Joseph sidelined with a right adductor strain and striker Jose Moreno missing out with a left ankle sprain. Fortunately for the Revs, Clyde Simms had recovered enough from his left ankle tendonitis to fill in and play an hour in Joseph’s absence, while 17-year-old Diego Fagundez got his first start of the season in place of Moreno.

The Revs got off to a rough start just four minutes into the match when Koevermans put the home side in the lead. The Dutch forward rose about AJ Soares to head an Ashtone Morgan cross from the left flank past Matt Reis at the near post from close range. There appeared to be a miscommunication between Reis and Soares as the center back barely challenged for the header.

Fagundez, making his first start of the season, had a good early chance in the 17th minute after getting the ball inside the box off a pass from Kevin Alston. The Home Grown player took a touch before blasting a shot on frame that Milos Kocic managed to tip off the bar and out for a corner kick.

Doneil Henry nearly added to the Toronto FC lead in the 32nd minute, after the Revs set piece defending fell short yet again. Henry got open to head a Torsten Frings’ free kick from the left flank, but sent his effort just wide of the post.

A Morgan cross would lead to Toronto’s second goal as well. This time the 21-year-old’s service was missed by Koevermans, but fell to Ryan Johnson, who lost his marker and tapped it in to put Toronto up 2-0 in the 42nd minute.

Kocic then kept the Revs off the board on the final kick before half time. The Serbian ‘keeper made an impressive save on a powerful header by Stephen McCarthy off a Benny Feilhaber corner, keeping the visitors from pulling back within a goal before the break.

Five minutes into the second half the Revs wasted a decent chance when Flo Lechner, who came on late in the first half for an injured Kevin Alston, got forward down the left flank and sent a dangerous cross into the box. His service found a wide open Feilhaber, but the creative midfielder couldn’t get his effort on frame.

After switching to a 4-3-3 in the 63rd minute with Blake Brettschneider entering for Clyde Simms, the game began to open up more. After the Revs dealt with some pressure from Toronto, Kelyn Rowe had a good chance for New England. The rookie got the ball from Saer Sene at the top of the box and slipped through the defense, before seeing his shot blocked by Kocic from a tight angle.

Brettschneider finally put the Revs back within one in the 70th minute. After a long blast from Feilhaber, Brettschneider was there to tap in the rebound as Kocic tried to recover.

Four minutes later the team had two chances to equalize. First Chris Tierney’s free kick was tipped wide by Kocic. Then, on the ensuing corner kick, McCarthy’s shot was cleared off the line.

Then it was Lee Nguyen with a chance in the 78th minute, breaking into the box, only to be denied by Kocic, one of his seven saves on the night.

It started to look liked it wouldn’t be the Revs night when Sene blew a fantastic opportunity five minutes from the end of regulation. Some impressive play from Feilhaber sprung the French striker into the left side of the box. Sene ran in on goal with options to pass or shoot, but wasted the chance by sending a shot wide.

Feilhaber then created another great chance, this time for himself. The U.S. International dribbled around a pair of defenders into the box, only to see his shot denied by the post. It started to look like hope was lost for the visitors.

But, just as it looked like Toronto would grab their second with of the season, the Revs finally found the equalizer in the fourth minute of stoppage time. With everyone pushing forward Lechner sent a cross into the box that Tierney powered on frame with a header. A Toronto defender got in the way, but couldn’t keep his shot out of the net.

The Revs return to action on Saturday, June 30, at 7:30pm at Gillette Stadium against the Seattle Sounders.


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