Cristian Penilla scored two goals in the first seven minutes of the match, and the New England Revolution rode that early momentum for a dominating 3-2 win over Toronto FC on Saturday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
Penilla pushed New England to the lead in the fourth minute when he took a pass from Teal Bunbury after a turnover at midfield and calmly, but quickly, dribbled down the middle of the pitch. Penilla split two Toronto defenders before unleashing a wicked right-footed kick from just outside the penalty area that wrong-footed Reds’ goalkeeper Alexander Bono couldn’t handle. The shot nestled into the lower-left corner of the net.
Penilla wasted no time adding to the lead, scoring in the seventh minute to claim his brace. Bono ventured out of the area under duress to try to clear the ball and passed to teammate Ager Aketxe, who, inexplicably, turned to his right and sent the ball straight to Penilla, who steadied the ball, waited a beat and lifted a shot that beat Bono back to his line and into the net.
Bunbury built the Revolution advantage to 3-0 in the first minute of the second half, taking a clearing pass from Andrew Farrell and carrying it deep into the Toronto zone as the Reds’ defense retreated instead of attacking. Bunbury got to the edge of the box and lofted a shot that flew over Bono’s right shoulder and bounced into the net.
Toronto got on the scoreboard in the 55th minute when Jay Chapman centered a pass that Jordan Hamilton and New England defender Antonio Mlinar Delamea both lunged for near the goal line as it flew into the net past Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner.
Delamea was the last person to touch the ball, so the tally was booked as an own goal for New England but it still pulled the Reds to within 3-1.
Sebastian Giovinco, who entered as a sub in the 60th minute, cut the New England lead to 3-2 in the 89th minute on a penalty kick after Chris Tierney fouled Auro in the area.
Giovinco and New England’s Wilfried Zahibo had words as the Toronto midfielder made his way back to midfield, and Giovinco put his right hand into Zahibo’s face, drawing a red card that forced the Reds to play the final minutes of the match with just 10 men. The infraction will keep him out of Toronto’s next match.
Toronto (2-6-1) returns to the pitch with a home match Friday against Orlando City while the Revolution (5-3-2) will host Columbus on Saturday.
—Field Level Media