Recap: Revs, TFC batter each other to scoreless draw

Shalrie Joseph and Nathan Sturgis

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Toronto FC picked up their fifth draw in six outings by securing a 0-0 stalemate at New England on Wednesday night.

There were chances for both sides, but neither team could engineer the breakthrough to collect all three points. Rajko Lekic spurned a couple of promising opportunities for the Revs, while Alan Gordon saw his goal-bound header cleared off the line by Kevin Alston after 36 minutes. TFC survived Gianluca Zavarise's red card in second-half stoppage time to snatch a point.

The result left both sides grappling with extended winless streaks — New England haven't won in five attempts, while Toronto haven't secured a victory in seven matches — heading into home matches this weekend against Chicago and Seattle, respectively.

New England coach Steve Nicol switched his side to a 4-4-2 formation after the Revolution's success during the second half of Friday's 2-1 defeat at New York, while Toronto stayed in their typical 4-3-3.

Both sides relied on direct play during a fairly even first half devoid of more than a handful of chances.

The Revs enjoyed the better of the early exchanges, but the home side failed to carve out truly promising opportunities. Lekic headed straight into Stefan Frei's arms after three minutes, while Zak Boggs blazed over the bar shortly thereafter.

Gordon served as the focal point of the TFC attack in the opening stanza and posed problems for the Revs with his robust approach. His knockdown prompted Joao Plata's low drive to the near post after a quarter of an hour, while his presence occupied defenders on a corner kick to permit Doneil Henry to head over the bar at the back post two minutes later.

Frei kept matters on level terms by pushing Chris Tierney's drive around the post on 20 minutes, but Gordon once again found himself in the thick of the action to conjure up the best chance of the half eight minutes before halftime.

Gordon rose highest to meet Nathan Sturgis' corner at the near post and guided his header toward the far post. The effort looked like it would end up in the back of the net until Alston cleared off the line to send the teams into the break on level terms.

New England started the brighter of the two sides in the second half by creating a pair of decent chances. Shalrie Joseph fired straight at Frei five minutes after play resumed after Lekic drew halftime substitute Sainey Nyassi's service back into his path. Lekic then somehow managed to push an unmarked volley attempt wide in the 58th minute after Alston located him with ample time and space at the back post.

A raft of substitutions entered as both coaches tried to turn one point into three, but the Revs continued to press in the attacking third. Lekic and Kenny Mansally — by this point operating as a left winger with Zack Schilawski inserted for Tierney — nearly connected after 71 minutes, but Lekic couldn't quite latch onto Mansally's square pass.

TFC substitute Zavarise reduced his side to 10 men in second half stoppage time by collecting his second yellow card for clattering through Joseph, but the Reds managed to hold out under severe pressure to secure a point.

Toronto (2-5-9) move to sixth in the Eastern Conference on 15 points, one point and two places ahead of New England (3-7-5) in the standings.

Scoring Summary:
None

Misconduct Summary:
NE -- Pat Phelan (caution; Reckless Tackle) 63
TOR -- Mikael Yourassowsky (caution; Simulation) 74
TOR -- Gianluca Zavarise (caution; Fails to Respect Distance) 86
TOR -- Gianluca Zavarise (ejection; Second Caution) 91+

Toronto FC -- Stefan Frei, Richard Eckersley, Doneil Henry, Ty Harden, Danleigh Borman, Maicon Santos (Oscar Cordon 56), Nathan Sturgis, Alan Gordon, Mikael Yourassowsky, Joao Plata (Javier Martina 72), Nick Soolsma (Gianluca Zavarise 67).
Substitutes Not Used: Dan Gargan, Matt Gold, Ashtone Morgan, Milos Kocic.

New England Revolution -- Matt Reis, Kevin Alston, Darrius Barnes, Ryan Cochrane (Franco Coria 69), A.J. Soares, Zak Boggs (Sainey Nyassi 46), Chris Tierney (Zack Schilawski 68), Shalrie Joseph, Pat Phelan, Kenny Mansally, Rajko Lekic.
Substitutes Not Used: Ryan Guy, Stephen McCarthy, Andrew Sousa, Bobby Shuttleworth.

Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Referee's Assistants: Claudio Badea; Peter Manikowski
4th Official: Jose Carlos Rivero
Time of Game: 1:48
Weather: Clear and 75 degrees
Attendance: 6,680