The New England Revolution got extended their winning streak to five games and their unbeaten streak to seven with a hard-fought 3-1 win over Toronto FC on Sunday evening at BMO Field. Diego Fagundez and Kelyn Rowe each scored for the Revs, who also benefitted from a Toronto FC own goal, en route to the victory.
Even the most rabid Revs fan will admit that New England were lucky to escape Toronto with all three points as Toronto dominated the possession stats (59% to 41%) and the outshot New England 21 to 7. But while TFC was wasteful with its possession and shots, Jay Heaps some was clinical with their finishing and are now alone in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, just two points behind D.C. United and New York at the top of the conference, and six points ahead of fifth place Toronto FC.
Both teams had chances to open the scoring inside the opening two minutes of the game with Lee Nguyen curling a shot just wide of Chris Konopka’s post following a giveaway inside TFC’s penalty area while Robbie Findley hit the crossbar with a looping header off a left wing cross from Sebastian Giovinco.
The Revs would pull in front in the fourth minute when Toronto FC center back Damien Perquis scored an own goal to put the Revs up 1-0. Jermaine Jones played Teal Bunbury in behind the TFC defense on the right and his low cross across the face of goal was turned into the net by Perquis, who was sliding in to cut out the pass.
Late in the first half, the Revolution doubled their lead as Fagundez scored for his third consecutive game. After an extended buildup, Teal Bunbury clipped a short pass to Lee Nguyen at the corner of the penalty area and he played a square pass across the top of the box for Fagundez, who hit a right-footed shot past the dive of Konopka, giving New England a 2-0 lead that they would take into the halftime break.
Ten minutes into the second half, Toronto FC pulled a goal back with Findley heading a Justin Morrow cross off the post and into the net, making the score 2-1. That goal would end the Revs’ streak of consecutive minutes without allowing a goal at 340, having last conceded on Aug. 1 in a 3-1 home win over Toronto FC.
Kelyn Rowe, who had entered the game just minutes earlier, restored the Revs’ two-goal lead in the 71st minute with his fifth goal of the season and the 20th of his Revolution career. He combined with Nguyen to take the ball off the foot of Michael Bradley at the top of the penalty area and then hit a low, right-footed shot past Konopka, making the score 3-1 in favor of the Revs. Nguyen was credited with the assist on the goal as well, giving him five in his last two games and a career-best 10 on the season.
Both teams had chances to add to the scoring in the final 15 minutes, but New England would hold on for a 3-1 victory.
The Revolution will be back in action on Wednesday night when they host the New York Red Bulls at Gillette Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET,