Tajon Buchanan, playing in his first "home" match at BMO Stadium, traded goals with his Canadian international teammate Jonathan Osorio, but Gustavo Bou converted a crucial penalty late in the match, allowing the New England Revolution to outlast Toronto FC 2-1 at BMO Field on Saturday night.
The scoring started in the 20th minute, when DeJuan Jones sent in a hopeful cross that found Buchanan to the right of the penalty spot. The Canadian international sent a looping header goalward that found its way into goal despite Alex Bono's best efforts. That sent the Toronto fans into a swirl of mixed emotions — disappointed for their Reds, but somewhat mollified in seeing the possibly Europe-bound Canadian showcase his talents.
The goal that came against the run of play; Toronto looked the better side in the early going, with Yeferson Soteldo looking particularly sprightly. Ifunanyachi Achara, starting his first match since March 2020 (after a promising start was derailed by a knee injury requiring surgery), nearly got TFC level in the 30th, hitting the post on a play that proved the host's best chance in the opening 45.
Toronto came out on the front foot again after halftime, but Buchanan nearly got a second goal, with Ralph Priso swooping in at just the right moment to force the shot high — one of a series of head-to-head battles between the two that made for an entertaining game-within-the-game.
Marky Delgado very nearly got the hosts level just before the hour mark as the final player in a nice combination play, but he fired his shot right at Matt Turner, and the All-Star dealt with it.
Then, in the 67th minute, Bou went on a marauding run toward goal, eventually whistled for offside, but Priso injured himself making a goalline clearance that came as the ref whistled the play dead, and had to exit the match in what looked like a good deal of pain.
Toronto finally saw a reward for all its forward play on a corner kick, with Soteldo and Alejandro Pozuelo combining to get the ball to Osorio, who found space between two defenders in front of goal and made the most of it.
But then, Eriq Zavaleta grabbed and pulled down Adam Buksa in front of goal just after play resumed following the equalizer, and Bou converted from the spot to take back the lead for the visitors with less than eight minutes remaining in regulation. That was just enough padding for them to see it out, though TFC did keep coming in the closing minutes.
The win might have been a costly result for the Revs — like Priso, Matt Polster left the match in the second half with an apparent knee injury. Though he walked off the field under his own power, New England fans will warily watch for word from head coach Bruce Arena about the dependable midfielder, recently highlighted by MLSSoccer.com's Greg Seltzer as one of the league's most underrated players.