Ayo Akinola and Henry Kessler - Toronto FC, New England Revolution
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Toronto FC vs. New England Revolution: A tale of denied penalty claims

On top of great goalkeeping, it was a tale of denied penalty shouts that highlighted the goalless draw between Toronto FC and the New England Revolution on Tuesday morning. 

Both teams had strong claims for at least one penalty, while Toronto saw a penalty changed to a free kick after a VAR ruling. Referee Jair Marrufo was not called over to consult the monitor on the other penalty shouts, including after a coming together between Gustavo Bou and Michael Bradley. First, check it out for yourself:

The Revs players disagreed with the referee.

"I thought it was a penalty, but it doesn't matter what I think," midfielder Kelyn Rowe told reporters on a video conference call after the game. "It wasn't called, so we have to move on."

"I think it was a pen, but we had a lot of chances to score goals," added defender Andrew Farrell. "We're disappointed we didn't get the call, but we fought a good game. It's up to the ref to call it." 

Head coach Bruce Arena wasn't so sure. 

"They claim they went to VAR and they said it wasn't a clear and obvious mistake," Arena said. "If that's what VAR said, then they used it properly. ... I really couldn't tell [if it was a penalty from the bench]. There was a little bit of contact but the referee was right there. I was sitting far away, the referee and VAR should be better positioned to make that call than I, so I'm going to go by the call." 

The Revs weren't the only team with who came close to getting a penalty. 

Jozy Altidore played Ayo Akinola in behind the Revs defense with his first touches of the game and when Akinola turned the corner on DeJuan Jones, who took him down right at the edge of the area. The call was initially given as a penalty, though Video Review stepped in and changed it to a free kick.

Even Akinola thinks they got it right in the end. 

“My initial thought is that it was [a penalty], but at the same time I saw the skid marks in the grass and it was just outside,” Akinola said. “So I had a feeling that initially they were going to give a penalty at first, but after it went to VAR it was outside the box. I actually thought it was outside the box.”

There was another chance of Toronto earning a penalty in stoppage time in the 89th minute when an Altidore appeared to hit the hand of Revs winger Cristian Penilla. Marrufo was not called over to the monitor to get another look at the play.

After the 90 minutes and multiple shouts for penalties, the game ended in an eventful 0-0 draw with both teams advancing to the Round of 16 of the MLS is Back Tournament. 

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