The New England Revolution looked to flip the script on Toronto FC on Friday night in Canada, but a lackluster final 70 minutes doomed them to settle for a 1-1 draw. Diego Fagundez mirrored Matias Laba's opening from the teams' last meeting, scoring in the 2nd minute, but Andrew Wiedeman was able to equalize on a controversial play at the end of the first half to rescue a point.
The Revs were all over TFC in the early going. The goal came when Kelyn Rowe charged into the area on the dribble, cutting inside and then back to his right before firing a shot inside the box. The ball was deflected right back to him, and he had the wherewithal to flick it laterally to a wide-open Fagundez, who finished from point blank range.
Fagundez nearly had two in the sixth minute. Some quick passing in the defensive third broke Chris Tierney free down the field, and he charged at the heart of Toronto's defense before slipping an excellent diagonal ball to Rowe. Rowe left it for Fagundez, who cut in from the left and got into the box before bending a curler for the far post. Toronto keeper Joe Bendik got a fingertip to it at full stretch, deflecting it for a corner.
The 13th minute marked Toronto's first real chance of the match. Robert Earnshaw received the ball at the top of the box and turned A.J. Soares before pulling his shot wide of the left post. That proved to be a turning point in the match, because after that the Revs stopped dominating and started getting very languid in their performance.
It took until the end of the half, but Toronto took advantage. First Andrew Wiedeman had an effort blocked by Jose Goncalves in first-half stoppage time, after a failed clearance. Moments later, failed clearances would become the Revs' undoing. A Richard Eckersley free kick was never taken out of the box and pinged around before Wiedeman pounced on it and slid it home. The goal was controversial as the Revs were looking for a handball call, and replays showed that Toronto captain Steven Caldwell very clearly handled it, but there was no whistle from referee Fotis Bazakos.
The second half almost does not bear mentioning. Wiedeman fired wide in the 48th minute, and then it was nearly forty minutes before either team fashioned a real chance. In that time, the game became slow and extremely physical, with Bazakos following imperceptible logic with his foul calls and cards. Neither team was particularly pleased with him.
Controversy found the Reds in the 88th minute, as when a referee giveth, that referee can taketh away. Caldwell appeared to have buried an Eckersley free kick with an excellent placed header, but the goal was waved off for a foul by Bazakos. The replay showed that he could have been whistling Caldwell for a tug on Goncalves or a hand to A.J. Soares' face, but TFC could have a legitimate gripe with the official on that call.
In stoppage time, Kelyn Rowe fired high from distance, and Bobby Convey drilled a low shot wide of the near post for TFC in the waning moments. The Revs also had yet another issue with Bazakos' decision-making, this time for a non-call when it appeared that substitute Dimitry Imbongo was dragged down in the box.
To top it all off for the Revolution, Juan Agudelo appeared to leave the game with an injury. He was favoring his hamstring, but nothing has been announced yet.
The Revs are back in action on Sunday against Montreal in Foxboro.