FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The chances are starting to flow for the New England Revolution in the attacking third, but the final touch still remains elusive.
A dearth of quality in front of goal condemned the Revs to a 0-0 draw against Toronto FC on Wednesday night. The disappointing result left New England coach Steve Nicol bemoaning his side's continued lack of precision.
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“We've had 19 shots and 11 corners, we've had free kicks and we've had plenty of the ball in the final third, but we haven't produced that final bit of quality that was needed,” Nicol told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “That says it all.”
Those chances arrived primarily through crosses and direct service into the penalty area. With Toronto clogging up play through midfield in its usual 4-3-3 setup, both sides reverted to blunter measures to apply pressure in the attacking third.
“It ended up being a pretty direct game, which is frustrating,” Revolution midfielder Pat Phelan said. “You're just hoping for second balls and you don't get to play as much as we want to. That's the way the game unfolded. It's all we really could do.”
The back and forth ultimately favored the Revs as they created the majority of opportunities in front of goal. Rajko Lekic spurned a couple of chances from promising positions, while Shalrie Joseph saw his effort from a deft Lekic layoff saved by Stefan Frei.
Although the Revs frequently fired efforts toward goal and forced Frei into seven saves, they failed to turn their pressure into the goal they craved.
“We need to score goals,” Nicol said. “We put pressure on them, which we wanted to do. We wanted to make it hard for them. We did that, but, again, we come back to the crux: we were just lacking that killer pass, that killer finish. We were just half a yard short.”
Nicol and the Revs will have to find a way to bridge that gap quickly in order to secure a victory against Chicago on Saturday (7:30 pm ET, MatchDay Live).
“We've gotten to a point in the season where we're on the bottom looking up,” goalkeeper Matt Reis said. “We need three points. We've created enough chances to win games in the past two games, but we haven't done it. That's really frustrating.”