Toronto and The Revs ends in Stalemate, whilst RSL shine under the Friday Night Lights
Toronto FC 1 New England Revolution 1
The visitors saw their two game winning run ended after they were held to a draw in Canada. New England did make the perfect start though as with only 2 minutes showing on the clock Diego Fagundez netted for the second straight game.
Kelyn Rowe who had being in good goal-scoring run himself recently turned provider this time as he made a penetrating run before getting a slice of luck as the ball deflected off Toronto defender Richard Eckersley straight back to him and he was able to set up Fagundez for the easy finish as he notched up his ninth goal of the campaign.
The 18 year old Uruguayan nearly doubled their lead 4 minutes later after an interchange of passes between the Revs attackers he got a curling shot off that required a fine diving save from TFC’s keeper Joe Bendik. That saved proved decisive as 2 minutes into first-half stoppage time the hosts got level. After a scramble in the Revs box the ball fell kindly to Andrew Wiedeman who fired an unstoppable shot past the visitors goal-keeper Matt Reis.
In the second stanza both sides struggled to create any clear cut changes, until 2 minutes from time that is, when the hosts thought they had snatched a winner as Steven Caldwell managed to get on the end of a free-kick and headed it into the top corner of the away sides net, unfortunately for him and the home fans in the crowd of 18623 their joy was shorted lived as the referee had spotted a push by the Canadian sides captain and chalked the tally off and they had to settle for their second draw on the bounce.
Real Salt Lake 4 Portland Timbers 2
RSL bounced back to winning ways with a emphatic success over Portland as they stretched their lead at the summit of the Western Conference to eight points over the LA Galaxy ahead of this weekends play.
Luis Gil was on the score-sheet for the second game in a row when he put the home side in front after only 9 minutes. Moving the ball at a high tempo Javier Morales and captain Kyle Beckerman combined well and the ball was eventually fed to Joao Plata who’s first time pass through the right side of the box found Gil who took a touch and then clinically finished with a right foot shot to the far post for his fifth goal of the season.
6 minutes later and the home side had doubled their advantage as Plata turned from provider to goal-scorer, as he outpaced Andrew Jean-Baptiste before unleashing an unstoppable shot which beat keeper Donovan Ricketts and entered the net off the far post.
After the early onslaught looked to have staggered the Timbers they finally got a foothold in the match when after 31 minute a spectacular long range effort by Darlington Nagbe flew past Nick Rimando in the home side’s goal after Michael Harrington had made a lung bursting fifty yard run to set him up, as they halved the deficit.
Two moments though meant any momentum Portland had was lost. Firstly they lost play-maker Diego Valeri who had to leave the field almost immediately after they had scored with an adductor strain, meaning coach Caleb Porter had to change formation and 2 minutes into first-half stoppage time they had to realign again as Ben Zemanski saw a straight red card from referee Baldomero Toledo for a high challenge on Ned Grabavoy.
RSL took full advantage of their opponents wows and 10 minutes into the second-half they regained their two goal advantage after a moment of brilliance from Morales. A corner kick by Plata found him at the far stick and even though the ball initially bounced up at him he was able to twist his body and hit a bicycle-kick that flew in off the far post.
Alvaro Saborio was on hand after 67 minutes to claim his sides final goal as he managed to flick a header off a delightful Morales free-kick inside the far post.
To be fair to the visitors they never ‘downed tools’ and they were rewarded with a consolation strike 12 minutes from time when two of the substitutes contributed. Jose Adolfo Valencia collected a ball, turned and fired a shot on goal that Rimando could not hold and Sal Zizzo easily converted the rebound with his first touch of the game, as Portland saw their three game unbeaten run end.
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