A poor match from Doneil Henry and an inability to execute in the final third cost Toronto FC two points in their third home match of the season. The 2-1 loss was Toronto's fourth of the season as their record through the first seven matches of the year is now 3-4-0.
Lee Nguyen scored the winner for the away side on a penalty while Patrick Mullins had New England's other goal on a brilliant strike. Jackson's first in a Toronto FC uniform was the only salvation for the visitors.
A full analysis of the match can be expected later tonight. This is going to be a tough one to swallow for Toronto FC. Here are the highlights:
TFC- Jackson (Gilberto) 6'
NER- Mullins (Kobayashi) 24'
NER- Nguyen (PK) 82'
TFC- Jackson (Caution) 43'
TFC- Bradley (Caution) 58'
NER- Fagundez (Caution) 74'
NER- Caldwell (Caution) 90'
Toronto FC- 3-4-0 (9 pts)
New England- 4-3-2 (14 pts)
Toronto FC- Cesar, Bloom (De Rosario 87'), Henry, Caldwell, Morrow, Jackson (Nakajima-Farran 78'), Bekker (Rey 68'), Bradley, Osorio, Gilberto, low Defoe
Substitutes Not Used: Bendik, Orr, Hagglund, Wiedeman
New England- Shuttleworth, Barnes, Soares, Farrell, Alston (Tierney 35'), Kobayashi (Caldwell 57'), Dorman, Nguyen, Fagundez (Neumann 77'), Mullins, Bunbury
Substitutes Not Used: Knighton, Bengston, McCarthy,Davies,
RYAN NELSEN - HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC
Thoughts on the game...
The performance was pretty good, really good, but we gifted them a couple of goals. We had plenty of opportunities to put the game out of sight but that's football.
What changed after the first twenty minutes? Was it the goal that changed everything for them?
I think it probably took the wind out of our sails. It was a world class hit. We still got to continue on and that happens in games and we need to learn how to adjust and keep going. It took the wind out of our sails but the second half performance I thought was very good. Obviously quite a few opportunities and we had the ball for the majority of the time. Possession was ridiculously in our favor and it didn't fall for us.
Gilberto is getting very close is it just a matter of time before he breaks out?
I hope so. He had two or three opportunities in the first half and obviously the one off the post was everything but in. In terms of clear chances the game should've been ours.
JUSTIN MORROW - DEFENDER, TORONTO FC
Was it a frustrating game?
Yes, definitely I think. That late in the game to get that result is unacceptable.
Do you guys need to be more clinical in the final third?
Yes, we just need to be better on both ends, in the attacking third and in our own box and be better.
Thoughts on dropping the points at home...
Well the good part is that we have a lot of games coming up, Canada Cup and a couple home games after that so we have a chance to pick up points.
JERMAIN DEFOE - FORWARD, TORONTO FC
On the play of Gilberto...
He's doing everything right, sometimes it happens where, as a forward, you get chances and you are just so close. But all the lads are behind him. Once the first one goes in then then he'll score loads. The chance he had in the first half just missed the post and in the second half the header went to the inside of the post and it came back to the goalkeeper. Maybe on another day it hits the inside of the post and it goes in or it comes out to someone else. It's just a case for him to keep going. He's getting the chances; he's getting to the right position so he's doing well.
What do you think went wrong today?
I don't know, we created a lot of chances but another day they go in. New England is a good team. It was never going to be an easy game but they played well. But I think overall, when we look back on the game, I thought we were the better team. Especially in the second half they didn't create anything and we were the ones that created all the chances so it's important to look forward now and just concentrate on the next game.
Are you happy with the service that you're getting?
Yes, everyone is doing well and like I said, we had the chances in the first half. The game could have been won in the first half but we were just unlucky. Hopefully in the next game when we get those chances we will be more ruthless and they will go in. It's just that little bit of luck that we need.
JAY HEAPS - HEAD COACH, NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
Tough to go down early away from home, talk about the effort to fight back and earn all three points?
It's really difficult when you start slow, and they capitalized on that scoring early. The first half was very open, it could have been 2-2 and I thought that the team fought hard and found a way to win as we didn't play our best so that is always nice.
The second half wasn't quite as open and slowed down, what were you thinking about how you were going to get something out of this?
You want to be opportunistic and take your chances, we did have a couple chances in that game, especially after the penalty with Teal and some good breaks down the line. You really want to close the game out, but it was difficult with the conditions, the field was very slow and that hurts our game as we want to move the ball and we had a difficult time adjusting to that.
Big change this week was Patrick Mullins getting his first start since the beginning of the season. What happened all week to lead up to him getting his start?
We wanted his tactical sense and his hold up play up front; those were two things that really stood out for us up front today. We have played him out on the wing a bit and up top and his hold up play has really helped us dictate the games. He also had a great strike of the ball today, very pleased.
PATRICK MULLINS - FORWARD, NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
What are your thoughts on scoring your first goal of your MLS career?
The most important thing is that we got the three points, especially in a tough place to play on the road. I think the big thing today was not me scoring or Lee scoring, it was a full team effort from start to finish and us getting the win.
What were your thoughts on playing down the middle as opposed to playing on the wing during pre-season?
It's very different, I think your role changes as it's about holding the ball up for your team and dictating where we are going to press and how we are going to play defensively. I have the skills and confidence to play at this position and know that I can do well.
What have the past few weeks been like for you; you started the season opener and then you have spent some time trying to work your way back into the lineup and then you get your chance today and grasp hold of it.
It shows our team mentality here at New England; if one guy gets called upon, you need to take your opportunity and make the most of it and that is what I did today. The team mentality remained calm and we stuck to our game plan and got the result.
BOBBY SHUTTLESWORTH - GOALKEEPER, NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
What are your thoughts on the team mentality to claw back and get the three points away from home?
I think we were a bit unfortunate for the first goal as AJ was trying to close the ball down and I was committed to diving the other way and the ball squeezes in. We responded well in the first half, I thought we had really good possession and I think it just carried on from there.
Did the scrappy, ugly type of game in the second half suit the New England Revolution?
Yeah, I think we have a good group of guys that can adapt as we go along. We've got guys who can play football and guys who can battle.
What are your thoughts on the last minute save which inevitably won the three points?
Yeah, I just kind of reacted to the ball coming off the post and as soon as it hit by hand I just tried to gather myself and locate the ball. I can't say enough about the whole defensive effort and work that we have put in.