After playing most of their first team line up on Wednesday night, Toronto FC knew that they would have to dig deep in order to find a way past the New England Revolution on Friday night. They did just that as Toronto earned a 2-0 win over the visitors thanks to goals by Drew Moor and Sebastian Giovinco.
Toronto start off strong but fade as the game goes on
For the first 15 minutes of the game, it was all Toronto as they penned New England deep in their own half and controlled the tempo of the game. Both wing-backs, Tsubasa Endoh and Justin Morrow were finding a lot of room out wide and Benoit Cheyrou did a good job of finding them regularly which caused the 'Revs' problems during the opening exchanges of the match.
The pressure told in the 11th minute. Armando Cooper nutmegged Je-Vaughn Watson and then sent in a great cross that found Drew Moor at the far post. The defender stretched out a foot and finished from close range to give his team the lead that their play had deserved.
A change in tactics allowed New England to gain a foothold in the game after conceding the goal. Kelyn Rowe switched from the left flank to the right and thus prevented Morrow from getting forward. Morrow had to keep an eye on Rowe who would drop into the space the wing-back would leave behind every time he got forward.
Toronto still had their chances, in particular Jozy Altidore should have been awarded a penalty in the 34th minute, but New England had taken over the game and looked in control. The visitors were just unable to find the final pass that would give them a clear opportunity on goal.
New England push for an equalizer but Toronto get the second goal of the game
The second half played out the same way as most of the first half had gone, with New England dictating the tempo and trying to find a way through on goal. The first big chance of the second half came in the 49th minute when Andrew Farrell was seemingly brought down by Jason Hernandez in the Toronto penalty area but his appeals were also waved off.
The referee tonight, Hilario Grajeda, will not want to look back on those two penalty no-calls tonight as both should have been awarded. Sebastian Giovinco almost got the second in the 57th minute when he bent in a dangerous free-kick. But Lee Nguyen had read his intentions and raced back onto the goal line to head away the effort from Giovinco. Apart from that, New England were the ones creating opportunities in front of goal.
Both London Woodberry and Juan Agudelo had their efforts blocked by a Toronto defender in the 66th minute. Two minutes later, substitute Kei Kamara could have had a tap in had he not been put off by Hernandez' missed header before the cross got to him in the box. It felt as though the Revs were finding the right spaces in and around the box but just could not get their shots to fall into the back of the net and as the clock began to wind down, most knew that Toronto would only need one chance to make the away side pay for all of their missed opportunities.
Another Revs' substitute, Teal Bunbury, thought he had found the equalizer when he met Nguyen's cross in the box but Alex Bono was on hand to make a magnificent save and keep Toronto in front.
Then, with virtually the last kick of the ball, Toronto made it two-nil when Hernandez played a long ball over the top that Giovinco latched onto, jinked his way past his defender and then finished into the bottom corner.