Toronto FC may have entered Friday’s clash against the Revolution mired in ninth place, but that didn’t stop them from giving their guests a tough test at BMO Field.
Despite conceding a Diego Fagundez goal only two minutes into the match, the Reds scratched and clawed their way back before halftime thanks to a 45+2-minute Andrew Wiedeman strike to earn a 1-1 draw with the fifth-place Revolution.
“Toronto worked their tails off,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps told the media after the game.
“They didn’t give us anything. Fortunately, we started very well, then at about 20 minutes into the game, it started to slip away from us.”
It was a remarkable turnaround for Toronto after the 20th minute. After giving up the opening goal and looking especially vulnerable, the Reds turned the tables. With a fast, rain-slicked field and plenty of space to roam ahead, the Reds went to work on the Revolution by sending numbers forward and asserting control of the midfield.
“We came out and played really good soccer in the first five minutes and we wanted to continue,” Revolution center back A.J. Soares told the media after the game. “But they did a good job of preventing us from playing our soccer and they played very well. They are a professional team and they are going to come at us.”
To their credit, the Revolution defense withstood the initial waves of pressure and hoped to get to halftime unscathed. But in the dying moments of the first frame, the guests couldn’t get the ball out of their own area and Wiedeman made them pay.
“If we were able to continue to play the same way we did in the first 15 minutes we would have been all right,” Heaps said. “Allowing a goal with 30 seconds before halftime was really disappointing.”
The second half saw the Revolution reclaim some of the quality they lacked in the first 45. The back four tightened up their form, and the midfielders started to string together passes.
But with the score level, the ninth-place side predictably was all too happy to reduce the game to a series of physical battles. And even though the Revolution had known it was coming, they too began to play an uninspiring and unskillful brand of soccer.
“It’s just soccer, you know,” Soares said. “It’s raining, that’s how that team (TFC) plays. At the end of the day, it is even and we’ll take it.”
Although the Revolution came away from Friday’s contest disappointed in their inability to get three points and climb into fourth place, Soares couldn’t help but look at the positives.
“We have taken seven points out of our last three games,” Soares said. “So if you were to offer that beforehand, we would have taken it. It wasn’t the way we wanted to play the game but we defended well, had some good moments, but sometimes that is what you've got to do.”