TORONTO – Paul Mariner has many good memories from his days as an assistant coach with the New England Revolution. But he won’t remember as fondly his first match against them as the head coach of Toronto FC.
Minutes from his first victory in his third game as coach of the Reds, Mariner saw his team surrender another two-goal lead as Chris Tierney scored in stoppage time to give the Revolution last-gasp a 2-2 draw at BMO Field on Saturday.
New England came alive in the final 20 minutes of a game in which the home side rode most of the momentum. First-half goals by Danny Koevermans and Ryan Johnson had TFC well on their way to only their second victory of the season.
Toronto got off on the right foot in just the fourth minute, when Koevermans shed his defender to head home a long cross from the left sideline by Ashtone Morgan.
After controlling the tempo for most of the half, the Reds struck again in the 42nd minute, again off a long cross from the left by Morgan. Koevermans sprawled for the header, drawing the New England defense and leaving an unmarked Johnson near the far post to finish for a 2-0 lead.
But TFC again were careless in protecting the lead, as Milos Kocic had to be called on time and again to make big saves, including a reflex stop on Stephen McCarthy’s close-in header in first-half stoppage time.
The Reds were even more vulnerable after Torsten Frings came off in the 68th minute, and the insertion of Blake Brettschneider helped give New England an even bigger shot in the arm. In the 71st minute, the second-half sub put back a rebound from a tough angle off Benny Feilhaber’s blast from the top of the box to pull the Revs to within one.
New England kept pressing, and Kocic had to come up big on Saer Sene in the 80th minute. Three minutes later, Sene had a near one-on-one with Kocic, but sent his shot far off frame. And in the 88th, Feilhaber put his shot off the post.
But the Revs found the equalizer in the fourth minute of stoppage time when Tierney headed home Florian Lechner’s cross, sending New England home with a point and deflating the fans at BMO Field.
With the draw, the Revolution improve to 5-7-3. They next host Seattle on June 30.
Toronto, meanwhile, are now 1-10-2 on the season and are 1-1-1 under Mariner, who took over from Aron Winter on June 7. The Reds next host New York on June 30.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Benny Feilhaber||Might have been the only Rev to truly put in a 90-minute performance. World Cup veteran was a menace all night, helping set up Brettschneider's goal and nearly adding one of his own.|
|2||Ashtone Morgan||TFC Academy product has been reborn under Mariner, with two gorgeous crosses from his overlapping runs to set up both Toronto goals.|
|3||Milos Kocic||Seven saves for TFC, including three of the spectacular variety to maintain the point. Was left out to dry on both Revs goals as his backline lost the plot.|