Toronto FC benefitted from a new-coach bump on Wednesday night at Gillette Stadium, holding on for a 3-2 win over the Eastern Conference-leading New England Revolution before MLS enters a brief break for this summer’s Concacaf Gold Cup.
HIGHLIGHTS: New England Revolution vs. Toronto FC | July 07, 2021
Days removed from Chris Armas being relieved of his head-coaching duties amid a six-match losing streak, and now being led by assistant coach Javier Perez on an interim basis, Toronto scored three times within a 15-minute span during the first half. The match also featured a near-80 minute delay due to inclement weather.
The Reds’ barrage started in the 9th minute when Yeferson Soteldo scored his first MLS goal since arriving from Brazilian club Santos FC. The Venezuelan winger beat Revolution goalkeeper Brad Knighton to a routine ball over the top, poked it free and deposited into the empty net. Knighton got the nod with normal starter Matt Turner on US men's national team duty.
Then in the 15th minute, TFC left back Kemar Lawrence was sprung into open space by Alejandro Pozuelo. Lawrence, dared to shoot as New England’s defense scrambled to recover, roofed the ball high and hard at the near post for a 2-0 lead.
Toronto midfielder Tsubasa Endoh established a 3-0 advantage in the 24th minute, bending home a left-footed scorcher to the far post. He collected a squared pass from Soteldo and found a shooting angle from atop the 18-yard box to evaded Knighton.
New England’s comeback charge sparked to life in the 56th minute when Carles Gil bent home a beautiful free kick from just outside the penalty area. The Revolution captain was fouled on his initial shot, then left Toronto goalkeeper Alex Bono with no chance.
Adam Buksa gave New England another lifeline in the 78th minute, guiding home a header that cut TFC’s lead to 3-2. Second-half substitute Ema Boateng floated in a teasing ball from the left, and the Polish No. 9 finished after frustratingly hitting the crossbar during the first half.
The Revolution nearly found a late equalizer, but Bono made himself big to deny Buksa's close-range effort in the 92d minute. From there, Toronto did just enough to inflict New England's first home defeat of the year (entered at 5-0-0).
- THE BIG PICTURE: Toronto were in a downfall, one that prompted Chris Armas' departure over the weekend. The Reds still face a long climb up the standings, though this gutsy win should provide a major spark as they try to rescue their 2021 season. As for New England, they've now allowed at least two goals in five straight games. The Revolution's offense is explosive, but they'll struggle to compete for trophies if they continue to leak goals at this rate.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Even though it came in a losing effort, Carles Gil's left-footed free kick was a stunner. He now has two goals and 10 assists this year, only strengthening his MVP case.
GOAL: Carles Gil, New England Revolution - 56th minute
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Tsubasa Endoh had only played 121 minutes before this Week 12 game. Then the Japanese midfielder's first-half golazo stood as the game-winner.
GOAL: Tsubasa Endoh, Toronto FC - 24th minute
- NE: Saturday, July 17 at Atlanta United | 5 pm ET (ESPN, ESPN Deportes)
- TOR: Saturday, July 17 vs. Orlando City SC | 7:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)