FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The streak goes on for Gustavo Bou.
The Argentine striker scored for the fourth consecutive game on Saturday night, his late equalizer helping the New England Revolution claim a 1-1 tie against Toronto FC in front of an announced crowd of 16,588 at Gillette Stadium.
New England (10-9-9, 39 points) remains sixth in the Eastern Conference and one point ahead of Toronto, which is now winless at Gillette Stadium in eight regular season games dating back to August 2013.
For a few minutes though, it seemed like Toronto was going to finally turn the tables on the Revolution and leapfrog them in the standings.
Nicolas Benezet put the visitors up off a headed goal from inside the six-yard box in the 75th minute.
But Bou, who finished the match with a game-high seven shots, brought the Revolution back to level terms in the 86th minute off a hard-hit drive from just outside the left side of the box that slipped beneath Toronto goalkeeper Quentin Westberg and settled into the net.
“It was a difficult game, obviously it was a very close game,” Bou said through a Spanish translator in the Revolution locker room. “We knew we had to play well ahead of time because it’s the end of the season and there are a lot of teams trying to get a spot in the playoffs, like Toronto obviously are. It was a very tough game for us, so we were just trying to be strong.
“It was important to see this result out because obviously it’s as very important point. It’s sad because we could have capitalized and done even better, but we’ll take the point for now.”
Both teams had spells of playing conservative, rigid tactics and had key players missing. New England was without striker Teal Bunbury (hamstring) and defender Edgar Castillo (rib), while Toronto’s Jozy Altidore (quadriceps) made the trip but did not dress for the game.
The two teams didn’t make the most of their chances inside the game’s first hour, either.
Bou fired wide in the second minute – the first chance of the game – despite being open inside the box, and also shot wide of the side netting of an open goal in the 34th minute after taking possession from Cristian Penilla, who cleared space for Bou to shoot by rounding Westberg.
Aug 31, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney reacts during the first half against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
Conversely, Toronto didn’t miss much, but were thwarted by New England goalkeeper Matt Turner, who halted a drive by Alejandra Pozuelo (51st) and Benezet’s follow-up just before Westberg parried Carles Gil’s effort from inside the area off a give-and-go with Juan Agudelo at the other end of the field.
“Both teams had that atmosphere that it was a big game,” said Turner, who finished the game with five saves. “Both teams were kind of frantic in front of goal, missing some good chances.”
Benezet put Toronto up only for Bou to tie the game nine minutes later.
After the game, players in both locker rooms expressed their dissatisfaction with the result.
“I don’t think on the night we played particular well,” Revolution coach Bruce Arena said. “Toronto played very well. We didn’t make good adjustments during the game. I think our ball movement was too slow and not good enough.
“But having said that, to get a point out of the game, I’m pleased with that. It was good to see our guys push toward the end to get the equalizer and then try to win the game. On the night we didn’t play particular well. I thought Toronto really played well tonight and gave us a lot of trouble.”