Chris Tierney scored the game-tying goal deep into second-half stoppage time as the New England Revolution erased a 2-0 halftime deficit to claim a 2-2 draw with Toronto FC on Saturday evening at BMO Field.
Tierney’s powerful header from Flo Lechner’s right-wing cross capped a dramatic comeback which began with Blake Brettschneider’s 71st-minute goal to pull the Revs within striking distance. Danny Koevermans and Ryan Johnson had scored first-half goals to give TFC what appeared to be a comfortable halftime lead.
For the Revs (5-7-3, 18 pts.) it was just their second road result of the season after suffering six losses in their first seven trips away from Gillette Stadium. For TFC (1-10-2, 5 pts.), it marked the second straight game in which the club surrendered a two-goal halftime lead to settle for a draw.
Clyde Simms returned for the Revolution after missing four games with left ankle tendonitis – replacing the injured Shalrie Joseph (R adductor strain) in the starting lineup – while Diego Fagundez earned his first start of the season in place of the ailing Jose Moreno (L ankle sprain). Kelyn Rowe also returned to the starting lineup, taking over for Fernando Cardenas on the right wing.
Koevermans got TFC off to the perfect start when he put the home side up 1-0 in just the fourth minute. Left back Ashtone Morgan overlapped down the left side and whipped a teasing cross into the middle, where Koevermans rose above Revolution center back A.J. Soares and nodded a downward header into the back of the net.
Fagundez almost responded for the Revs in the 17th minute but was denied by a combination of TFC goalkeeper Milos Kocic and the woodwork. Kevin Alston finished an overlapping run down the right with a low cross to Fagundez, who shook a defender and drilled a shot which Kocic tipped onto the crossbar.
Toronto doubled its advantage in the 42nd minute as Morgan once again took advantage of a bombing run down the left wing. Morgan chased down a loose pass in the corner and had time to settle and deliver a cross, which skipped past Koevermans at the near post but found Johnson arriving late at the back post for an easy finish with his head.
Kocic ensured TFC maintained its 2-0 lead into the halftime break with a fantastic save deep into first-half stoppage time. Benny Feilhaber’s corner kick found Stephen McCarthy for a glancing header, but Kocic reacted quickly to dive left and push the ball to safety.
Trailing by a pair of goals, the Revs brought on Brettschneider in the 63rd minute and moved to a more attack-minded 4-3-3 formation. The change paid immediate dividends when Brettschneider cut the deficit to 2-1 with his second goal of the season in the 71st minute, burying the rebound after Feilhaber’s long-range shot was saved by Kocic.
Buoyed by the goal, the Revs continued to press and almost pulled level in the 74th minute when Kocic was again called into action, diving full stretch to his right to deny Tierney’s 20-yard free kick. Four minutes later Kocic used his feet to kick away a tight-angle drive from Lee Nguyen.
It looked like it simply wasn’t to be for the Revolution when Feilhaber’s low 15-yard strike kicked off the face of the left post in the 88th minute, but Tierney finally made the breakthrough to grab a well-deserved equalizer with virtually the last kick of the game. Lechner – a first-half replacement for the injured Alston – swung in a cross from the right wing and Tierney drove into the box to meet the service near the penalty spot, burying a powerful header past the helpless Kocic.
The Revs will now return to Gillette Stadium for a three-game home-stand beginning next Saturday, June 30, when they’ll host Seattle Sounders FC at 7:30 p.m.