LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL – The New England Revolution and Toronto FC played to a 0-0 draw on Tuesday at the MLS is Back Tournament at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Disney World.
Both teams ended the group round with identical records of 1-0-2 and five points and a virtual tie in Group C, but Toronto i ahead of New England in a tie breaker. D.C. United can pass both teams for first place in the group if they defeat the Montreal Impact by two or more goals on Tuesday evening.
Because of Toronto’s offensive strength in the tournament, New England focused more on defense in the first half, and pressed more after the half. The key was keeping Ayo Akinola away from opportunities, because the 20-year old has stepped in nicely for Jozy Altidore, the Reds normal top scoring threat, with 5 goals this season including a hayrick in his last MLS is Back match.
An eventful 90 minutes, both teams had late chances to take all three points. With about 10 minutes left, Ayo Akinola was on a breakaway but Matt Turner made a great reflex save to deny the tournament’s joint-top scorer. Akinola was later pulled down for what was originally judged to be a penalty kick, though Video Review intervened and ruled the foul took place outside of the box.
Revs’ best chance of the game, Alex Bono denied Adam Buksafrom six-yards out. Brandon Bye played a low cross to an unmarked Buksa from point-blank range, but Bono stood big and cut down the angle to deny the Revs’ Designated Player.
Revs star and reigning MLS Newcomer of the Year Carles Gil was unavailable, wearing a walking boot on the bench. His status is reportedly TBD for the remainder of the tournament. Bruce Arena opted to leave Gustavo Bou and Cristian Penilla out of the starting lineup as well.
Jozy Altidore made his tournament debut, entering as a substitute in the 86th minute.