New England Revolution visited Toronto FC on Saturday and were happy to leave with the three points, but this game could have gone either way.
New England eventually won 2-1, with goals from Patrick Mullins and Lee Nguyen extending the Revs unbeaten run to four.
Toronto’s Jackson Goncalves opened the scoring, with a deflected shot in the sixth minute, and it seemed like Toronto were going to stroll to victory.
However, key chances fell to designated player Gilberto and he failed time and time again to convert, rarely hitting the target, whilst struggling to make decent connection with the ball.
Cue Mullins, who was ever-present in the New England offense, and his goal, lived up to the recent hype; a well-struck effort which left Julio Cesar rooted to the centre of his goal.
Controversy struck in the eighty-second minute as a Mullins shot cannoned off the arm of Doneil Henry and the referee had no choice but to give a penalty.
Up stepped Nguyen who converted with ease, to give New England the lead.
Toronto manager Ryan Nelson brought on a third striker, Dwayne De Rosario, with three minutes left on the clock but was unable to prevent the loss.
The former Tottenham striker, Jermain Defoe, returned from injury to start for Toronto, and looked promising in the first half, but fell off the pace as the game went on.
In a game where Gilberto and Mullins could both have left with hat tricks, fans were left mystified as to how they only saw three goals.
Toronto will be ruing errors in front of goal and will feel unfortunate they fell to the out of sorts Gilberto, and not star-signing Defoe.
Fans from both sides had some positives to take from the game, as two youngsters looked very promising.
New England’s Mullins looked very comfortable in front of goal and looks set for a good season.
Toronto’s homegrown talent, Jonathan Osorio, also looks like he could trouble a lot of defences this season. His direct and all-out style could prove to be the catalyst to get Defoe firing.
The match was evenly balanced but Toronto fans will feel disappointed that with 60% of the possession they failed to secure at least a point.
Questions will also be asked of Gilberto who once again failed to impress.