FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – “When you shoot the ball on net, good things happen.”
That axiom held true for the New England Revolution on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium, where Gustavo Bou’s 86th-minute shot crept through the arms of Toronto FC goalkeeper Quentin Westberg, rescuing a point – and denying TFC two – in a 1-1 draw between Eastern Conference playoff contenders.
The goal was in stark contrast to Bou’s stunning late winner last weekend against the Chicago Fire. Instead of another rocket into the upper corner, this was a bouncing shot from 20 yards that Westberg will unquestionably want back as it slipped underneath his body and left arm.
“I never celebrate another keeper’s error,” said Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner, who made five saves, including a pair of stellar stops when it was still 0-0. “But it was nice to get the point.”
Both sides appeared a little tight – particularly in the first half – likely a product of the game’s importance with the Revs and TFC separated by just one point in the standings. As such there was only a smattering of clear-cut scoring chances as the proceedings didn’t open up until the latter stages.
When they did, TFC capitalized, Nicolas Benezet nodding home from close range in the 74th minute after Turner had saved Alejandro Pozuelo’s initial effort. That prompted the Revs to throw numbers forward, and while it wasn’t the prettiest of equalizers, it nevertheless arrived in the 86th minute.
“It had that kind of atmosphere that it was a big game,” said Turner. “Both teams were a little frantic in front of goal, missing some good chances … As soon as (Toronto) scored the goal, they just kind of dropped off and allowed us to kind of grow into the game and get some shots on goal.”
Sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena said the Revolution’s ball movement was too slow and lamented their lack of in-game adjustments, but also said he was happy to see the late fightback and another point gained in the dying minutes after last weekend’s dramatic win.
It’s a point that keeps the Revolution in sixth place in the East, now with six games remaining, including the next two on the road – at New York City FC next weekend, before a trip to Orlando City SC on September 14.
“It just makes these next two away games even more massive,” said Turner. “We really wanted to get maximum points in these two home games, and we failed to do that.
“We’re going to go to New York (next weekend), and hopefully we can do what we did last year and get three points there. Then we’ll worry about Orlando. We’re just going to take it one game at a time. That’s all we can do.”