TORONTO – Chris Tierney scored the game-tying goal deep into second-half stoppage time as the New England Revolution erased a 2-0 halftime deficit to claim a 2-2 draw with Toronto FC on Saturday evening at BMO Field.
Tierney’s powerful header from Flo Lechner’s right-wing cross capped a dramatic comeback which began with Blake Brettschneider’s 71st-minute goal to pull the Revs within striking distance. Danny Koevermans and Ryan Johnson had scored first-half goals to give TFC what appeared to be a comfortable halftime lead.
For the Revs (5-7-3, 18 pts.) it was just their second road result of the season after suffering six losses in their first seven trips away from Gillette Stadium. For TFC (1-10-2, 5 pts.), it marked the second straight game in which the club surrendered a two-goal halftime lead to settle for a draw.
Clyde Simms returned for the Revolution after missing four games with left ankle tendonitis – replacing the injured Shalrie Joseph (R adductor strain) in the starting lineup – while Diego Fagundez earned his first start of the season in place of the ailing Jose Moreno (L ankle sprain). Kelyn Rowe also returned to the starting lineup, taking over for Fernando Cardenas on the right wing.
Koevermans got TFC off to the perfect start when he put the home side up 1-0 in just the fourth minute. Left back Ashtone Morgan overlapped down the left side and whipped a teasing cross into the middle, where Koevermans rose above Revolution center back A.J. Soares and nodded a downward header into the back of the net.
Fagundez almost responded for the Revs in the 17th minute but was denied by a combination of TFC goalkeeper Milos Kocic and the woodwork. Kevin Alston finished an overlapping run down the right with a low cross to Fagundez, who shook a defender and drilled a shot which Kocic tipped onto the crossbar.
Toronto doubled its advantage in the 42nd minute as Morgan once again took advantage of a bombing run down the left wing. Morgan chased down a loose pass in the corner and had time to settle and deliver a cross, which skipped past Koevermans at the near post but found Johnson arriving late at the back post for an easy finish with his head.
Kocic ensured TFC maintained its 2-0 lead into the halftime break with a fantastic save deep into first-half stoppage time. Benny Feilhaber’s corner kick found Stephen McCarthy for a glancing header, but Kocic reacted quickly to dive left and push the ball to safety.
Trailing by a pair of goals, the Revs brought on Brettschneider in the 63rd minute and moved to a more attack-minded 4-3-3 formation. The change paid immediate dividends when Brettschneider cut the deficit to 2-1 with his second goal of the season in the 71st minute, burying the rebound after Feilhaber’s long-range shot was saved by Kocic.
Buoyed by the goal, the Revs continued to press and almost pulled level in the 74th minute when Kocic was again called into action, diving full stretch to his right to deny Tierney’s 20-yard free kick. Four minutes later Kocic used his feet to kick away a tight-angle drive from Lee Nguyen.
It looked like it simply wasn’t to be for the Revolution when Feilhaber’s low 15-yard strike kicked off the face of the left post in the 88th minute, but Tierney finally made the breakthrough to grab a well-deserved equalizer with virtually the last kick of the game. Lechner – a first-half replacement for the injured Alston – swung in a cross from the right wing and Tierney drove into the box to meet the service near the penalty spot, burying a powerful header past the helpless Kocic.
The Revs will now return to Gillette Stadium for a three-game home-stand beginning next Saturday, June 30, when they’ll host Seattle Sounders FC at 7:30 p.m.
New England Revolution at Toronto FC
June 23, 2012 – BMO Field (Toronto, Ontario)
New England Revolution 2, Toronto FC 2
TFC – Danny Koevermans (Ashtone Morgan, Richard Eckersley) 4
TFC – Ryan Johnson (Danny Koevermans, Ashtone Morgan) 42
NE – Blake Brettschneider (unassisted) 71
NE – Chris Tierney (Flo Lechner, Fernando Cardenas) 94+
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Chris Tierney, A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Kevin Alston (Flo Lechner 40), Lee Nguyen, Benny Feilhaber, Clyde Simms (Blake Brettschneider 63), Kelyn Rowe, Saer Sene, Diego Fagundez (Fernando Cardenas 70)
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, John Lozano, Darrius Barnes, Alec Purdie
STATS: Shots 14, Shots on Target 9, Corner Kicks 5, Saves 4, Fouls 5, Offsides 0, Passes (percentage) 522 (80.75), Possession 64.7%
Toronto FC: Milos Kocic, Ashtone Morgan, Doneil Henry, Richard Eckersley, Jeremy Hall, Eric Avila (Luis Silva 59), Julian de Guzman (Reggie Lambe 82), Torsten Frings (Logan Emory 67), Terry Dunfield, Ryan Johnson, Danny Koevermans
Substitutes Not Used: Quillan Roberts, Matt Stinson, Aarson Maund, Dicoy Williams
STATS: Shots 11, Shots on Target 6, Corner Kicks 4, Saves 7, Fouls 14, Offsides 3, Passes (percentage) 277 (65.0%), Possession 35.3%
NE – Kevin Alston (caution) 31
TFC – Danny Koevermans (caution) 49
TFC – Doneil Henry (caution) 73
NE – Chris Tierney (caution) 79
Toronto FC – 1-10-2, 5 pts.
New England Revolution – 5-7-3, 18 pts.
Referee: Juan Guzman
Assistant Referees: Adam Wienckowski, Brian Poechel
Fourth Official: Geoff Gamble
Weather: Sunny and 77 degrees
- With the draw, the Revolution moved to 4-2-6 all-time against Toronto
- Although still winless on the road against Toronto FC, the draw moved the Revs to 0-2-4 all-time at BMO Field
- This was the third straight draw between the two clubs … in 2011, both meetings resulted in draws: 0-0 at Gillette Stadium on June 15 and 2-2 at BMO Field on October 22
- The Revs have now out-scored Toronto 22-14 in all meetings between the clubs
- This was the third time the Revs have scored at least two goals at BMO Field – 2-2 on October 22, 2007 and 2-2 on October 22, 2011
- Tonight’s match marked the first time in 2012 that the Revolution came back to earn a result with a goal after the 75th minute … the last time the Revs scored a game-tying goal after the 75th minute was July 23, 2011, when Shalrie Joseph converted a 90th-minute penalty kick at Colorado to help the Revs earn a 2-2 draw
- Tonight’s draw is the team’s first tie on the road … it was also the team’s second result on the road following a 3-1 win at LA on March 31 … the Revs are now 1-6-1 in away matches this season
- Tonight’s game marked the first time the Revs had come from behind to secure a result at BMO Field … in three previous meetings (2007, 2008 and 2011), the Revs conceded second-half goals that led to draws, while the team gave up game-winning goals in the second half to TFC in 2009 and 2010
- Tonight’s game marked the Revolution’s eighth multiple-goal game this season, and the team’s sixth in its last seven matches
- The Revs remain unbeaten in June, so far posting a 1-0-2 record in three games this month … the Revs close out their four-game June schedule next weekend when they host Seattle Sounders FC on June 30 at Gillette Stadium
- Tonight’s match marked the third straight match that the Revolution picked up points against Eastern Conference opponents … prior to the June 2 win against Chicago, the Revs went 0-3-0 against teams from the East to start the season … since June 2, the Revs are 1-0-2 against fellow Eastern Conference members
- Tonight’s game marked the first time in 2012 that the Revs had earned a result after trailing at the half … New England entered the match 0-4-0 when trailing at halftime this season
- Blake Brettschneider and Chris Tierney’s second-half goals were just the team’s eighth and ninth second-half goals this season … the Revs entered the game tied for 15th in MLS with two other teams for second-half goals scored
- Matt Reis served as team captain tonight in place of the injured Shalrie Joseph (right adductor strain) … Reis also served as captain earlier this year on April 14 against D.C. United while Joseph was suspended
- Diego Fagundez made his first start of the 2012 season tonight … he last cracked the starting lineup on October 15, 2011, when he lined up at forward against the Columbus Crew at Gillette Stadium
- Clyde Simms returned to the lineup after missing the last four games with left ankle tendonitis … Simms started the first 10 matches of the year before his recent injury stretch
- Benny Feilhaber made his third straight start in the central midfield, and his fifth start centrally this season ... he has also made two starts at left midfield and three at right midfield this season
- Kevin Alston departed the game in the 38th minute with a left hamstring strain and was replaced by Flo Lechner in the 40th minute
- Blake Brettschneider scored his second goal of the season and the third of his career
- Both of Blake Brettschneider’s goals this season have come on the road, his other coming on May 5 at Real Salt Lake
- Chris Tierney recorded his second goal of the season and the fifth of his career tonight … it was Tierney’s first goal since March 31 in a 3-1 win at LA
- Flo Lechner recorded the first assist of his career tonight … it came in his third appearance with the Revs
- Fernando Cardenas also recorded his first career assist with the Revs … it came in his 13th appearance
- The left side of the Revolution lineup – Lee Nguyen at left midfield and Chris Tierney at left back – completed a combined 89.4 percent of their passes this evening … Tierney completed 60-of-68 passes for an 88.2 percent rate, while Nguyen completed 50 of his 55 passes (90.8 percent rate) … together, the duo was 110-for-123 in their passing on the evening
- This evening’s game was the sixth straight match that the Revolution back line of Chris Tierney, A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy and Kevin Alston started together
- Tonight’s away game at Toronto was the team’s only road match in a seven-week span between May 27 and July 14
- Tonight’s game also marked the first-ever meeting between new Revolution head coach Jay Heaps and new Toronto FC head coach (and former Revolution assistant) Paul Mariner … Heaps played six seasons (2004-2009) under Mariner in New England while the former England international was a member of then-head coach Steve Nicol’s staff