Toronto FC settles for 2-2 draw with New England Revolution


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As the saying goes, there are three types of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.

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At BMO Field on Wednesday night, the statistics lied.

Toronto FC, fighting for a playoff spot, completely dominated the visiting New England Revolution, staging attack after attack in the second half with the match tied 2-2. But, in the end, the Reds had to settle for the draw and one point, a great disappointment to Toronto players who felt they deserved better.

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TFC (8W, 12L, 6D) needs wins. With eight games left, the Reds are still just three points out of a playoff spot, but with four teams to pass in order to make it to the post-season.

Toronto dominated in pretty well every aspect of the game, holding a big edge in possession (67%-33%), shots (19-6), shots on goal (7-4). In terms of corner kicks, the Reds had 17 to zero by the Revs!

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The draw extended TFC’s unbeaten streak to five games.

Federico Bernardeschi, on a penalty kick, gave the home side a 1-0 lead in the first half with Tommy McNamara tying it for New England before the half. Justin Rennicks put the Revs up 2-1 early in the second half before Toronto defender Domenico Criscito tied it with 15 minutes to go on an absolute cracker, his first goal for TFC.

TFC coach Bob Bradley elected not to include the club’s second leading scorer, Jesus Jimenez, in the starting XI, instead opting for Ayo Akinola. Both forwards are slumping. Jimenez, who came into the game in the 65th minute, is second on the club with eight goals, but hasn’t scored in 10 straight games. Akinola hasn’t scored in his last 12 appearances.

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Bernardeschi has four goals and two assists in his first five MLS appearances, including scoring in three home matches. His compatriot Lorenzo Insigne had his moments in Wednesday’s game, but too often gave the ball away.

TFC was on the front foot for most of the early going and had a good chance to score when Bernardeschi left-footed a bomb towards the right side of the New England goal, forcing Revs ‘keeper Djordje Petrovic to make a good, diving save.

Young forward Jayden Nelson, filling in for Mark-Anthony Kaye at midfield, had a great first half. TFC’s goal came when Nelson made a great pass into the box for Ayo Akinola, who was dragged down by Revs defender Christian Makoun. Bernardeschi left-footed the penalty shot into the left side of the goal in the 31st minute.

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A couple of minutes after the goal, Bernardeschi found Jonathan Osorio alone in the box but the Brampton native couldn’t gain control of the ball.

New England tied it in the 37th minute when McNamara somehow got two cracks at a loose ball right in front of the goal and made good on his second attempt.

Lorenzo Insigne had a crack at goal from well outside the box in the 29th minute, forcing Petrovic to make a leaping save.

TFC dominated the first part of the second half, but it was the Revs who jumped ahead 2-1 three minutes into half time when Carles Gil found Rennicks in the box, who got behind the Toronto back line and beat Alex Bono, a goal the TFC ‘keeper would have been unhappy with.

The BMO Field faithful went wild in the 69th minute when Nelson fed Richie Laryea a pass into the box and the Toronto winger went down. Referee Fotis Bazakos did not call a penalty, much to the dismay of the TFC players and fans.

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TFC had another good chance to score in the 70th minute when a New England defender headed a Lukas MacNaughton ball over the goal.

Criscito’s goal in the 75th minute was a play of brilliance. After Laryea fought hard to force a corner kick, Bradley picked up the short pass and crossed it to Criscito who one-timed a left-foot blast into the top left corner from just outside the box.

A couple of minutes later, Bono made a good save to keep the match tied.

The Reds almost took the lead in the 82nd minute on another great pass by Bradley, who found Jimenez in the box. The Canadian international guided the ball just wide.

Bradley and Laryea were outstanding for TFC on the night.

The Reds play at Inter Miami on Saturday night.

[email protected]
Twitter @Beezersun

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