TORONTO – It was just a matter of time.
Toronto FC head coach Paul Mariner could feel a tying goal coming as his team struggled to hang on against the New England Revolution on Saturday.
Goalkeeper Milos Kocic felt that way, too, as the players in front of him kept dropping back and the Revs kept pressing.
And sure enough, Chris Tierney scored late in stoppage time to give the Revolution a 2-2 tie after trailing 2-0 deep into the second half.
"I think we were running on fumes a little bit at the end,” said Mariner, who was an assistant coach for five years with the Revolution. “We had a long road trip, three games in seven days … and we just couldn't hold it. You can all see it [coming].”
Mariner has twice in the past two games been deprived of his first win since taking over from Aron Winter on June 7. The Dynamo scored in the 90th minute to earn a 3-3 tie in Houston on Wednesday.
But Saturday hurt a little more, being at home and going into halftime with a 2-0 lead. When the Revolution scored with 20 minutes to go, that feeling of inevitability crept in.
“It was just a matter of time when they were going to score,” said Kocic, upset with his team for giving up the high pressure of the first half. “If I kick every ball and the ball comes back at us, what are we doing, nothing. It’s just giving them more time to score a goal. If we play the way we play in the first half, there’s nobody can beat us in this league. It’s a simple as that.”
But the for the final half-hour, Toronto FC found themselves falling into the trap backing up and letting the Revolution come to them.
“Maybe the guys were tired, so they were just subconsciously going back and just [trying] to kill the time,” Kocic said. “But that’s not killing time. Killing time is pressuring in their half and letting them make mistakes. I don’t think we’re going to win many games like this.”
HIGHLIGHTS: Toronto 2, New England 2