Photo: Luis Silva strikes the winning shot against New England (Getty)
FOXBOROUGH, MA – Toronto FC coach Paul Mariner enjoyed a winning return to Gillette Stadium as Luis Silva's eighth-minute goal gave the Reds a 1-0 victory over the New England Revolution.
Silva combined with Danny Koevermans on the edge of the penalty area and slotted home his second goal in as many games to separate the sides. New England searched ardently for an equalizer in the second half, but TFC goalkeeper Milos Kocic intervened on several occasions to preserve the points.
The win came at a significant cost for the Reds as Koevermans limped off four minutes before halftime after suffering an apparent left knee injury, but the visitors persevered through that setback to snap the Revolution's five-match unbeaten run.
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Revolution defender Stephen McCarthy forced coach Jay Heaps into an early switch after he clashed heads with TFC forward Ryan Johnson just two minutes into the contest. Shalrie Joseph emerged from the bench to replace McCarthy in central defense four minutes later.
TFC exploited the uncertainty caused by the substitutions to open the scoring after eight minutes. Neat buildup play between Reggie Lambe, Koevermans and Silva prompted a quick one-two on the edge of the penalty area between Koevermans and Silva. Koevermans' return pass played Silva through into the penalty area, and the rookie made no mistake on the close range finish..
Koevermans should have doubled the lead six minutes later after he fired an opportunity past the far post, but the Revs eventually adjusted to the early switch and settled into the match as the first half progressed.
The calculus of the match changed four minutes before halftime after Koevermans suffered an apparent left knee injury in a challenge with Revolution defender A.J. Soares. Andrew Wiedeman replaced the prolific Dutch striker for his first appearance as a Red since arriving the deal that sent Julian de Guzman to FC Dallas on Friday.
New England inserted Jerry Bengtson into the fray at the interval to boost an attack that struggled to find a way through in the opening half. The move proved inspirational as the Revs improved significantly and TFC charged down opportunities by Saer Sene and Lee Nguyen in the opening stages of the second half.
Despite all of the pressure, the Revs struggled to find a way past Milos Kocic - watch. The TFC goalkeeper booted away the rebound from a Sene effort and pushed Benny Feilhaber's near post effort wide of the goal as the home side searched for the equalizer.
Joseph slapped the ball into the back of the net with his hand six minutes from time after Kocic made yet another fine save, but the effort was correctly ruled out and the Revs ultimately slipped to a first defeat in six matches.
8' Toronto - Luis Silva - watch
28' Toronto - Reggie Lambe (caution)
84' New England - Shalrie Joseph (caution)
84' Toronto - Terry Dunfield (caution)
90+3' Toronto - Ashtone Morgan (caution)
New England – Bobby Shuttleworth; Kevin Alston, A.J. Soares, Clyde Simms, Chris Tierney; Lee Nguyen, Benny Feilhaber, Stephen McCarthy (Shalrie Joseph 6'), Fernando Cardenas (Diego Fagundez 72'); Blake Brettschneider (Jerry Bengtson 45'), Saer Sene … Substitutes not used: Matt Reis; Flo Lechner, Darrius Barnes, Ryan Guy
Toronto – Milos Kocic; Doneil Henry, Richard Eckersley, Logan Emory, Ashtone Morgan; Reggie Lambe (Aaron Maund 69'), Terry Dunfield, Torsten Frings, Luis Silva (Matt Stinson 90+1'); Danny Koevermans (Andrew Wiedeman 41'), Ryan Johnson … Substitutes not used: Quillan Roberts; Dicoy Williams, Eric Avila