New England Revolution disappointed at inability to build on early lead in draw with Toronto FC
Diego Fagundez provided the perfect platform for New England to claim a first victory at BMO Field. Unfortunately for the Revolution, Fagundez's second-minute tally marked the high point of this visit to Ontario and left them with simply too much to do over the remaining 88 minutes.
Instead of building upon that early goal and submitting up an aggressive, ruthless display, the visitors struggled to find their rhythm after a bright opening period. Toronto FC scored an equalizer on the stroke of halftime and forced the Revs to eventually settle for a 1-1 draw on Friday night.
Revolution coach Jay Heaps admitted he wanted to see his players continue to press the initiative after the impressive start and noted how much the tone of the proceedings shifted from the intricate early stages.
“I was a little disappointed with the performance overall – not the points, but the way we played,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps told reporters after the match. “We were up against tough opponents. They played great. Toronto worked their tails off. They didn’t give us anything. Fortunately, we started very well. Then, about 20 minutes into the game, it started to slip away from us. It then became more about energy, fight and passion, rather than a football game.”
The ensuing slog took the Revs away from the strengths they showed over the past couple of weeks – maintaining possession in the attacking half and piling on the pressure until the opposition succumbed – and shunted them into a more rudimentary contest.
It never really churned out of that gear as the night progressed. Neither side – not even TFC after Andrew Wiedeman's scrappy equalizer shortly before the interval – could generate the sort of chances required to turn the proceedings in the second half.
The final result left the visitors to lament their inability to snatch the victory and strengthen their position in the crowded Eastern Conference playoff picture. Those misgivings came with a caveat, though, according to Revolution defender A.J. Soares.
“We were very disappointed we did not win the game, but we are happy we are now at a level where we are disappointed about not winning games on the road,” Soares told reporters after the match. “We have taken seven points out of our last three games. If you were to offer that beforehand, we would have taken it. It wasn’t the way we wanted to play the game, but we defended well and had some good moments. Sometimes, that is what you have to do.”