FOXBOROUGH — The Revolution have not compiled a plus-.500 record this late in a season since 2015, the last time they qualified for the playoffs. But the team’s road to the postseason is far from secure after being held to a 1-1 tie by Toronto FC on Saturday night.
Gustavo Bou provided another late deciding score, converting in the 86th minute for the second successive game as the Revolution (10-9-9, 39 pts.) remained a point ahead of Toronto (10-10-8, 38 pts.) in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Bou has a four-game scoring streak and has tallied six goals in eight games since joining the team in July.
But the Revolution, who visit conference rivals New York City FC and Orlando City SC in their next two games, squandered one of their last chances to capitalize on home-field advantage. They have two home matches out of six remaining.
“I don’t think we played particularly well, and Toronto played very well,” Revolution coach Bruce Arena said. “We didn’t make good adjustments during the game, I think our ball movement was too slow, and not good enough. To get a point out of the game, I’m pleased with that. It was good to see our guys push to get the equalizer and then try to win the game. But we didn’t play particularly well and I thought Toronto gave us a lot of trouble. They were a little bit better in the middle third of field, picked up a lot of second balls. They pushed numbers up on our back line, and that opened up a lot of room for them in the midfield.”
The Revolution alternated Juan Agudelo, Bou, and Cristian Penilla at center forward, all three combing well with Carles Gil in the opening half.
Bou shot wide (second, 28th minutes), then left-footed off the side of the net (34th). Penilla fired high (24th) and Agudelo scuffed a point blank left-footer (36th).
Toronto also threatened in the opening half, but the Revolution’s Andrew Farrell made a last-ditch tackle (18th), then Richie Laryea got past DeJuan Jones into the penalty area, Jones recovering with a sliding block just outside the goal area (33d). The Reds’ best first-half opportunity nearly developed in the 38th minute, as Erickson Gallardo seemed to have beaten the offside trap, breaking loose and going down in a clash with Matt Turner outside the penalty area. But the play was nullified by a late offside flag.
TFC had the edge in the second half, starting with a breakaway by Alejandro Pozuelo, whose first attempt was blocked by a sliding Farrell, and the follow saved by Turner, who then also saved Nicolas Benezet’s follow (52nd) before Michael Bradley sent a left-footer wide.
Gil’s point-blank volley off a combination involving Agudelo and Penilla was saved (68th), then a Bou drive was parried by Quentin Westberg, leading to a Toronto counter and opening goal. Substitute Nick DeLeon set up the score with a low cross through the penalty area, Benezet heading in at the back post after Turner deflected Marco Delgado’s unmarked left-footer in the 74th minute.
With the Revolution making a desperate bid to rally, Bou equalized with a low right-footer that slipped under Westberg’s left arm.
The Revolution, who extended their unbeaten streak to four games, have an 8-1-7 record since May 8 and have not lost to Toronto at home in eight games (5-0-3) since 2013.
“Both teams had that kind of atmosphere that it was a big game. Both teams were a little frantic in front of goal, missing some good chances,” Turner said. “And the longer you leave a team like Toronto hanging around, you could see every chance they made, they started getting more confident. And as soon as they scored the goal, they just kind of dropped off and allowed us to kind of grow into the game and get some shots on goal, and when you shoot the ball on goal, some good things usually happen. I never celebrate another keeper’s error, but it was nice to get the point.
“That just makes these next two games even more massive. We really wanted to get maximum points in these two homes games and we failed to do that. We’re going to go to NY and hopefully we can do what we did last year, get three points there, and then we’ll worry about Orlando.”