At the end of a long week, Toronto FC ran out of gas. Two late goals earned the New England Revolution a 2-1 win at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night that keeps the Reds’ Supporters’ Shield champagne on ice.
Nicolas Hasler looked to have saved an unlikely draw after Lee Nguyen’s 82nd-minute opener, but the Revs continued to apply pressure and Kei Kamara headed in a winner.
Toronto were once again dealing with the absences of Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco, and Alex Bono, Chris Mavinga and Eriq Zavaleta joined them on the sidelines. Only Bono made the trip to Foxborough.
With Steven Beitashour and Justin Morrow tucked into the three-man back line instead of stationed on the wings, Greg Vanney’s defence was not quite as tight as usual.
Kamara had the Revs’ best chance of the first half after tackling Morrow in his own half, but he could not decide between a shot and a pass across goal for Diego Fagundez and managed neither.
Toronto thought they had taken the lead, in fact, when Tosaint Ricketts converted a low Hasler cross after a fine move involving Victor Vazquez and Jonathan Osorio, but Ricketts had strayed inches offside.
Clint Irwin would be called upon a couple of times after that and as the second half wore on the Revolution, sensing TFC tiring, only ramped up the pressure further.
They finally made the breakthrough when Nguyen was played into the box and saw his shot deceive Irwin thanks to a deflection off Drew Moor.
Few would have given Toronto much chance of coming back into the game in the eight minutes remaining but thanks to a brilliant Michael Bradley pass, they did. Hasler only required one touch to divert the delivery past Cody Cropper.
But the Revs came pouring back the other way and from a short-corner routine, Kamara rose highest to head past Irwin.
That goal condemned Toronto to back-to-back defeats for the first time this season.