The scoring started in the 20th minute, when DeJuan Jones hit a hopeful cross that found Buchanan to the right of the penalty spot. He sent a looping header goalward that found its way into goal despite Alex Bono's best efforts. That sent the Toronto fans into a swirl of mixed emotions — disappointed for their Reds, but somewhat mollified in seeing the possibly Europe-bound CanMNT star showcase his talents.
The goal came against the run of play; Toronto looked the better side in the early going, with Yeferson Soteldo looking particularly sprightly. Ifunanyachi Achara, starting his first match since March 2020 (after a promising start was derailed by a knee injury requiring surgery), nearly got TFC level in the 30th minute, hitting the post on a play that proved the host's best chance in the opening 45.
Toronto emerged on the front foot again after halftime, but Buchanan nearly got a second goal, with Ralph Priso swooping in at just the right moment to force the shot high — one of a series of head-to-head battles between the two that made for an entertaining game-within-the-game.
In the 67th minute, Bou went on a marauding run toward goal and was eventually whistled for offside, but Priso injured himself while making a goalline clearance that came as the ref whistled the play dead. The homegrown midfielder had to exit the match in what looked like a good deal of pain.
Toronto were finally rewarded on a corner kick, with Soteldo and Alejandro Pozuelo combining to get the ball to Osorio, who found space between two defenders in front of goal and deflected it home.
But then Eriq Zavaleta grabbed and pulled down Adam Buksa in front of goal just after play resumed following the equalizer, and Bou converted from the spot to take back the lead in the 83rd minute. That was just enough padding for New England to see it out, though TFC did keep coming in the closing minutes.
The Revs' win might have been a costly result — like Priso, Matt Polster left the match in the second half with an apparent knee injury. Though he walked off the field under his own power, New England fans will warily watch for word from head coach Bruce Arena about the dependable midfielder, who was recently highlighted by MLSSoccer.com's Greg Seltzer as one of the league's most underrated players.
- THE BIG PICTURE: The Revs get another crucial conference win to move their Supporters’ Shield bid further forward, and did it without an injured Carles Gil in the mix. While they’re surviving the absence of one midfield mainstay, can they survive two? If Polster’s injury is a worst-case scenario, that makes New England’s climb to the top that much more challenging. Toronto’s loss leaves them dead last in MLS, which is not where they were expecting to be at this stage in the season given their abundant talent.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Though the goals involving the Canadian players were big, the penalty shout and subsequent conversion made the difference.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Though Soteldo was a force on the wing throughout for the hosts, to the victor goes the spoils, and Buchanan was deserving with his goal and his work rate.