TORONTO – Danny Koevermans scored with seven minutes to play to lift Toronto FC to a 2-2 draw against New England at BMO Field on Saturday afternoon in a battle between two teams that finish the season as the bottom two teams in the Eastern Conference.
Much like the 2-2 draw between these two sides on the final day of the 2007 season, this match offered plenty of open play and a healthy allotment of goals to conclude the campaign.
Nick Soolsma finished off a tidy move at the near post to give TFC the lead after 20 minutes. New England responded through Monsef Zerka four minutes before halftime and took the lead after Milton Caraglio prodded home Benny Feilhaber's cross a minute into the second half.
TFC pushed for an equalizer until Koevermans popped up at the far post in the 82nd minute to ensure the Reds avoided a hangover from Tuesday's 3-0 CONCACAF Champions League victory at FC Dallas and ended the season with a point.
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Neither side generated much rhythm in a choppy first half, but a pair of well-taken goals spiced up an otherwise drab affair.
Soolsma opened the scoring for the home side on a well-executed attacking maneuver after 20 minutes. Julian de Guzman sparked the buildup with a deft pass with the outside of his right boot. Koevermans latched onto the feed behind the Revolution's defensive line and drove a low cross for Soolsma, who turned home his third goal of the season at the near post.
Zerka equalized for the Revs four minutes before halftime as TFC conceded its ninth goal of the season from a corner kick. Caraglio's hopeful effort prompted the set piece opportunity, but Zerka did most of the heavy lifting as he made a near-post run to divert Feilhaber's driven ball into the roof of the net for his second goal of the campaign.
New England sustained its momentum through the halftime interval and took the lead 35 seconds after the break.
Sloppy play by TFC out of the back gave the Revs possession on the edge of the penalty area. Feilhaber eventually found himself on the ball and played an inviting ball to the back stick. Caraglio slid across to meet the service and tucked home his third goal of the season.
TFC saw its cries for a penalty turned down after Shalrie Joseph tackled Joao Plata to concede a corner kick, but the Reds eventually broke through to grab another late leveller in this fixture.
A sweeping move brought the ball from the right to the left, where Avila hit his diagonal cross into the area. The ball made its way all the way through a sea of bodies for Koevermans to poke home his eighth goal in ten MLS matches from close range.
New England sent numbers forward in the late stages in an attempt to reclaim the lead, but it couldn't produce the winner and instead saw Chris Tierney sent off for a second bookable offense late in stoppage time as the season wound to a close.
TOR -- Nick Soolsma 3 (Danny Koevermans 1, Julian de Guzman 3) 20
NE -- Monsef Zerka 2 (Benny Feilhaber 6) 41
NE -- Milton Caraglio 3 (Benny Feilhaber 7) 46
TOR -- Danny Koevermans 8 (Eric Avila 3, Torsten Frings 2) 83
Toronto FC -- Milos Kocic, Matt Stinson, Andy Iro, Ty Harden, Ashtone Morgan, Julian de Guzman (Terry Dunfield 55), Torsten Frings, Ryan Johnson (Eric Avila 28), Nick Soolsma, Danny Koevermans, Joao Plata (Gianluca Zavarise 74).
Substitutes Not Used: Doneil Henry, Peri Marosevic, Mikael Yourassowsky, Stefan Frei.
New England Revolution -- Bobby Shuttleworth, Kevin Alston, Franco Coria, Darrius Barnes, Chris Tierney, Monsef Zerka (Kenny Mansally 85), Benny Feilhaber, Shalrie Joseph, Ryan Guy, Milton Caraglio, Rajko Lekic (Zack Schilawski 73).
Substitutes Not Used: Ryan Cochrane, Kheli Dube, Otto Loewy, Pat Phelan, Tim Murray.
NE -- Chris Tierney (caution; Reckless Foul) 70
NE -- Milton Caraglio (caution; Delaying a Restart) 88
NE -- Chris Tierney (caution; Delaying a Restart) 94+
NE -- Chris Tierney (ejection; Second Caution) 94+
Attendance: 21, 600
Referee: Michael Kennedy
Referee's Assistants: Paul Scott, Adam Garner
4th Official: Geoff Gamble