FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Toronto FC midfielder Matias Laba scored a goal befitting his Designated Player status to hand the Reds a stunning 1-0 victory at New England on Sunday night.
Laba collected the ball at midfield, diced through the Revolution defense and then tucked home at the second attempt to open the scoring after just two minutes. The Argentine midfielder's first TFC goal proved just enough to hand the visitors their second victory on the trot, though the home side produced plenty of chances to prevent the setback and perhaps even secure all three points.
New England watched Ashtone Morgan and Richard Eckersley both clear off the line inside the opening half hour and Saër Sène spurned a chance to equalize at the near post, but the Revs dropped off after the first half and slipped to a first defeat in three attempts.
Laba assumed responsibility for the course of the night by recording the opener inside the first two minutes. His diligence at midfield allowed him to win possession and surge into the Revolution half. His deft hitch inside the penalty area created room to shoot, but Scott Caldwell charged down his effort. He stuck with his task, though, and thumped home the rebound to open his TFC account.
The home side attempted to respond in short order. Diego Fagundez nearly polished off a scruffy move inside the opening quarter of an hour, but Morgan hacked off the line. TFC goalkeeper Joe Bendik then parried away a Lee Nguyen half-volley and watched Sène lash into the side of the net from a promising position.
TFC dropped deeper and deeper inside its own half as the Revs controlled the possession and piled on the pressure. Eckersley swept off the line after 34 minutes to maintain the visitors' advantage before Sène wasted a good opportunity to equalize at the far post shortly before the interval.
New England failed to replicate its first-half incisiveness after the break as TFC held out doggedly in a bid to secure its fourth victory of the season. Bendik repelled another Fagundez effort at the near post to preserve the advantage heading into the tense final half-hour.
More players pushed forward for the home side in a bid to procure the equalizer. Fagundez hit the outside of the far post with an acrobatic effort in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time to bring the Revs' frustrating night to a close and ensure TFC escaped Gillette Stadium with three unexpected points.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Matias Laba||Scored an excellent individual goal, but gets the top spot here for his added work in midfield, where he was instrumental in stopping the Revs from getting anything up the middle|
|2||Joe Bendik||The TFC goalkeeper made a number of highlight-reel saves in the first half to keep his team ahead and remained solid for the rest of the match|
|3||Doneil Henry/Steven Caldwell||OK, a bit of a cop out, but the Reds' center back duo was equally capable of answering nearly every question asked of them.|