Score draw at BMO

Posted on 26 August 2008 by Scott Ferguson

Toronto FC needed a second-half fightback to draw New England Revolution 1-1 on Saturday, keeping the Canadian club’s playoff hopes alive, but only just.

New England have shown away from home this season, while Toronto, although experiencing patchy form of late, have counted on BMO Field for the majority of their points this season. Both those trends, along with memories of last season’s final-day 2-2 draw in Toronto, ensured that the fans at Toronto’s lake shore were guaranteed an exciting game.John Carver lined up his charges in a 5-3-2 formation due to injuries and the recent loss of midfield Maurice Edu to Rangers in Scotland, with wingbacks Jim Brennan and Marvell Wynne getting forward to help the attack as much as possible.

Kevin Harmse and Carl Robinson supported Amado Guevara in the midfield, while Rohan Ricketts deputized alongside Chad Barrett in attack while the club waited on new arrival Carlos Ruiz to report to duty in Toronto. Ricketts’ four goals in all competitions so far this season made him the preferred option over 16-year-old Abdus Ibrahim up front.

Toronto had the better of the first half but couldn’t find the killer pass to set up either of their forwards, with the patchwork squad struggling to develop an understanding.

New England made them pay for that profligacy when Chris Tierney sent in a left-wing cross 10 minutes before the half. Taylor Twellman rose highest to head the ball past Chris Sutton, who had stayed on his line in a vain attempt to keep Twellman from scoring yet again against Toronto. The American striker and his teammates have enjoyed their clashes against the Reds, with Twellman scoring 3 of the 11 that the Revs had bagged in their previous four games against TFC.

Photo by Chris Hazard

Toronto continued creating chances, but couldn’t convert, and the best chances were falling to Kevin Harmse. The South African-born midfielder has found first team action hard to come by this season but looked strong on Saturday.

Both sides came out strongly in the second half with the 20 000+ strong at BMO urging them on in the cool summer night, determined not to see their Red-clad militia fall at home for the second straight match. Chad Barrett took heed and came close twice before breaking coming up big in the 66th minute.

Ricketts’ cross found Barrett at the edge of the box, who had to take a controlling touch that took the ball a yard behind him. He tracked back, turned and fired a left-footed volley that sailed past Revs keeper Doug Warren and brought the capacity crowd to their feet.

Energized and with a new fighting spirit embodied by Barrett’s tireless running, Toronto had their tails up and nearly grabbed a winner. Julius James had a header go just over, while minutes later, Amado Guevara controlled the ball with teammates catching up and eventually picked out Ricketts. The winger-turned-striker took aim and lashed a low shot just past the outside of the far post, cueing groans across the stadium.

Photo by Chris Hazard

By the time the game wound down, New England looked as though they could steal the game, reminding Toronto that a draw is a fair result against the league-leading Revolution. Both sides had to be happy with a point, but Carver will be acutely aware that home advantage is at a premium in the remainder of the season, with just four of the remaining 10 games set to be played at BMO Field.

Photo by Chris Hazard

The Reds have a chance to move back into the playoff spots with a home-and-away series in league play against Chivas USA starting on Saturday Los Angeles. For their part, New England are off to Trinidad for a Champions League qualifier with Joe Public.

{democracy:16}

Match Facts

New England Revolution (11-6-4) vs. Toronto FC (7-9-5)
Aug. 23, 2008 — BMO Field

Scoring Summary:
NE — Taylor Twellman 4 (Chris Tierney 1) 35
TOR — Chad Barrett 7 (Rohan Ricketts 2) 66

Lineups

New England Revolution — Doug Warren, Jay Heaps, Michael Parkhurst, Chris Albright, Chris Tierney, Steve Ralston, Shalrie Joseph, Wells Thompson, Jeff Larentowicz, Taylor Twellman, Khano Smith.

Substitutes Not Used: Mauricio Castro, Joe Germanese, Amaechi Igwe, Brad Knighton, Pat Phelan, Matt Reis, Rob Valentino

Toronto FC — Greg Sutton, Tyrone Marshall, Julius James, Marco Velez, Marvell Wynne, Jim Brennan, Amado Guevara, Kevin Harmse (Tyler Rosenlund 62), Carl Robinson, Rohan Ricketts (Johann Smith 88), Chad Barrett (Abdus Ibrahim 78),

Substitutes Not Used: Danny Dichio, Brian Edwards, Tyler Hemming, Jarrod Smith

Statistics:
Toronto FC / New England Revolution
total shots: 13 (Chad Barrett 4) / 12 (Taylor Twellman 5)
shots on goal: 4 (Chad Barrett 2) /5(Taylor Twellman 3)
fouls: 3 (3 tied with 1) / 4 (4 tied with 1)
offsides: 6 (Jim Brennan 2) / 2 (Steve Ralston 1, Twellman 1)
corner kicks: 2 (Amado Guevara 2) / 8 (Steve Ralston 8)
saves: 4 (Greg Sutton 4) / 3 (Doug Warren 3)

Misconduct Summary:
None

Referee: Michael Kennedy
Referee’s Assistants: Amato DeLuca; Thomas Supple
4th official: Carol-Anne Chenard
time of game: 1:50
attendance: 20,461
weather: Clear -and- 78 degrees

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