June 23, 2012
STOPPAGE TIME TIE
Revs come back to draw Toronto 2-2
TORONTO---Chris Tierney headed a home a Flo Lechner cross in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time as the New England Revolution came back from a two-goal deficit to claim a share of the points with a 2-2 tie against last-place Toronto FC and spoil former Revolution assistant Paul Mariner’s home debut as head coach.
|Chris Tierney's stoppage-time header lifted the Revolution into a 2-2 tie with Toronto FC Saturday at BMO Field.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
After surrendering first-half goals to Danny Koevermans and Ryan Johnson, both off assists from Ashtone Morgan, and being denied repeatedly by TFC goalkeeper Milos Kocic, New England (5-7-3, 18 points)roared back with a spirited effort and second-half goals from Tierney and Blake Brettschneider.
The Revolution celebrated their well-earned comeback, though they continue to struggle on the road this season (1-6-1) and remain winless at BMO Field.
Koevermans got the Reds (1-10-2, 4 points) got off to a perfect start, collecting his sixth goal of the season in the fourth minute and continuing his recent run of form.
Speedy left back Morgan beat Kevin Alston to the corner and the 21-year-old TFC Academy product provided a perfect delivery to the big Dutchman, who rose over the back of A. J. Soares to bounce a header past Matt Reis from five yards out.
Morgan, whose pace down the sideline tortured New England much of the afternoon, doubled the Toronto lead in similar fashion in the 42nd minute, this time crossing to Johnson at the far post as Koevermans fanned on a diving header at the near post.
With Soares and Reis frozen by Koevermans’ inadvertent dummy, Jamaican international Johnson knocked his diving header into the undefended net.
Brettschneider, who entered as a second half substitute, put the Revolution on the board in the 71st minute, slamming home a rebound with a left-footed blast that squeezed between Kocic and the post after Kocic saved a low Benny Feilhaber rocket from distance.
The Revolution had their share of opportunities in the first half but were unable to convert.
In the thirteenth minute, Diego Fegundez, making his first start of the season, collected a Feilhaber pass and threaded a through pass to Saer Sene, but Kocic came off his line to smother the Frenchman before he could crank up a shot.
Fagundez came closer in the seventeenth minute, creating space in the box and firing on frame toward the upper register, but Kocic reacted quickly, leaping to tip the shot off and over the crossbar.
With Feilhaber directing traffic, the Revolution put together another promising combination three minutes later, Lee Nguyen finding Tierney who then fed Kelyn Rowe in the box, but the rookie’s measured poke was blocked away by Doneil Henry.
Toronto nearly added to its lead in the 31st minute, but Jeremy Hall’s open header off a long Torsten Frings free kick passed just wide of the post.
Kocic again denied the Revolution in first-half stoppage time, flicking away Stephen McCarthy’s goal-bound header off a Tierney corner kick.
Feilhaber came close five minutes after intermission, redirecting a Lechner delivery with a glancing header that rose just over the bar.
Lechner, who was making just his third appearance of the season, replaced Kevin Alston at right back after Alston took a hard challenge and left with a hamstring strain late in the first half. The German veteran added a new dimension to the Revolution attack, delivering dangerous cross after dangerous cross from the right flank and pinning Morgan and Toronto back in their own end.
Kocic again kept the Revolution off the board in the 67th minute, jabbing away Rowe’s on-target shot after Sene found the rookie making a run into the box.
After Brettschneider's goal sparked the Revolution, Kocic next denied Tierney with a sparkling save of a curling free kick from just outside the box.
McCarthy nearly equalized after pouncing on a rebound off a corner kick, but his roller trickled agonizingly along the goal line before a Toronto defender cleared it away.
The Revolution kept up the pressure, but Kocic again protected Toronto’s lead, saving a Nguyen effort from near the right end line.
Saer Sene had a golden opportunity as he approached the Toronto goal unguarded in the 85th minute, but the Revolution scoring leader, who endured a frustrating afternoon, sliced his left-footed shot wide of the net.
Three minutes later, Feilhaber, who put in a stellar day of work in his favored role as an attacking midfielder, snaked his way into the box and beat Kocic to the keeper’s right, but his low blast crashed off the post.
Them, with the Revolution pressing forward and only seconds of injury time remaining, Lechner and Tierney were finally able to find the equalizer.
Revolution Head Coach Jay Heaps made two changes to last week's line-up. With Columbian striker Jose Moreno nursing a sprained ankle suffered in the Columbus match, Heaps tapped teenager Diego Fegundez for his first start of the 2012 MLS season.
The Leominster High School sophomore, who started three games late in 2011, had been used sparingly by Heaps, making only four first-team MLS appearances, all as a second-half substitute, and logging just 78 minutes.
Clyde Simms returned to action and played 63 minutes after missing four games with ankle tendonitis. Simms replaced Shalrie Joseph, who was sidelined with an adductor strain.
The Revolution return home next Saturday to face the struggling Seattle Sounders.