Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Two teams hoping to continue climbing the
Eastern Conference standings clash on Saturday as Toronto FC hosts the New
England Revolution at BMO Field.
Toronto enters the match having lost two games on the spin following a 2-1
defeat against FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium on April 19.
TFC took the lead in the 21st minute when Issey Nakajima-Farran fired a shot
that was parried by FCD goalkeeper Chris Seitz. But it came right back at
Nakajima-Farran, and he volleyed the rebound to the back of the net.
FCD pulled level in the 32nd minute as center back Matt Hedges beat his marker
at the near post and headed home off a corner kick by Michel.
But the hosts collected a late winner when defender Stephen Keel headed down a
long ball from Michel in the penalty area, and Blas Perez pounced on the loose
ball to stab home for the full three points for his team.
"With these six games, I would have taken [nine points] straight away," TFC
head coach Ryan Nelsen said. "With the injury crisis that we've had, that we
didn't even think was going to happen, I'd take it."
Nakajima-Farran has scored each of Toronto's last two goals.
"It felt good," Nakajima-Farran said. "It was my little boy's birthday that
day, too, so for me it was very memorable. It's always nice to score. It was
nice to make my little boy proud."
New England, meanwhile, extended their undefeated streak to three matches,
scoring a pair of late goals for a 2-0 win against Sporting Kansas City on
Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are in a tie for second
place in the Eastern Conference with 11 points from eight games.
Things broke New England's way in the 74th minute when Sporting defender
Aurelien Collin was shown a red card for a rash tackle on Diego Fagundez,
reducing the visitors to 10 men.
The Revs opened the scoring in the second minute of stoppage time when
Fagundez whipped in a long pass from out of the right and Teal Bunbury swooped
in to redirect it into the goal.
Two minutes later Lee Nguyen buried a penalty kick following a handball in the
box by Oriol Rosell to hand the hosts all three points.
"I thought both teams really wanted the game and it showed. It was pretty wide
open early on. For us, I thought we were pretty good at the end of the first
half and created chances. We had a chance to at least get a goal. I think they
did, as well," said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. "Overall, I liked our
mentality and I liked how we finished the game."
In 16 all-time meetings between the clubs, New England holds a 5-4-7
advantage, but have never beaten TFC at BMO Field in seven meetings.