TORONTO – New England Revolution coach Jay Heaps went through this scenario with Columbus goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum last weekend. He didn't want to see Milos Kocic pull off the same feat for Toronto FC this weekend.
Gruenebaum made three stellar saves to prevent the Revolution from claiming a goal or a victory in the 0-0 draw against the Crew last Saturday. As the Revs recovered from a slow start and pressed forward in search of a late equalizer in Saturday's 2-2 draw at BMO Field, Heaps wondered whether Kocic – with some help from the goal frame and a goal-line clearance – would pull the same routine.
“And then when Benny [Feilhaber] hit the post [in the 88th minute], I thought, ‘Is this really going to happen?’” Heaps told MLSsoccer.com as his team tried to add to Blake Brettschneider's 71st-minute tally.
“We had so many chances in the second half. We ran into a goalkeeper where – in back-to-back weeks – we've played two of the hottest goalkeepers in the league in Gruenebaum and Kocic. He stood on his head on that free kick [from Tierney]. The first half, the header that [Stephen] McCarthy hit and [Diego Fagundez’s] shot, those are big-time saves.”
It took far longer than they would have liked, but the Revs finally broke Kocic's defiant stand and secured the point in second-half stoppage time. Tierney headed down a Flo Lechner cross toward goal and peeled away with delight when his effort deflected off Richard Eckersley and ended up in the back of the net.
The equalizer – despite a good pass by Fernando Cárdenas (above right), a tempting cross by Lechner and a fine finish by Tierney – may have looked a bit scruffy in the end, but Tierney said he will take the helpful bounce and the point that comes with it on a night when it looked like Kocic might condemn them to a defeat.
“It was one of those games where Benny rang the post, Steve had a good chance and Kocic made some phenomenal saves,” Tierney said. “He was really good tonight. We needed a little slice of luck. Luckily, we got one at the end there.”
HIGHLIGHTS: Toronto 2, New England 2