For the second consecutive match, Toronto FC raced out to a two-goal lead only to watch it evaporate in the dying moments amid defensive mistakes.TORONTO - It was deja vu for Toronto FC, as the cellar dwelling MLS side squandered a second consecutive two-goal lead to allow its opposition a come-from-behind draw.
On Saturday, it was the New England Revolution who benefited from TFC's latest collapse, as the Reds scored two first half goals at BMO Field only to allow the visitors to claw back in the final 20 minutes of play.
"It's an understatement to say we're all disappointed," Toronto head coach Paul Mariner said in the postmatch press conference. "Thirty [more] seconds and we would have had a 'W'."
TFC was clinging to life after Blake Brettschneider brought New England within one in the 71st minute. Toronto came close to giving up an equalizer several times in the dying moments, as the Revolution - energized by the Brettschneider strike - threw everything forward.
Toronto 'keeper Milos Kocic did his best to keep his side in the match, pulling off several stunning saves in the last few moments. The seemingly inevitable tying goal squeezed through in the 94th minute, literally seconds before referee Juan Guzman was set to blow the final whistle.
It was all too familiar for TFC, as the team had just experienced almost the exact same heartbreak in Houston just three days earlier when the Dynamo fought back from a 3-1 deficit to grab a draw.
"You don't mind players making mistakes, but if they keep making the same mistakes then that's a problem," Mariner said of the late game collapses that have suddenly become a theme for the club. "Some of these lads are really learning on the job, and they've got to not make the same mistakes over and over again."
Defender Ashtone Morgan, who arguably played his finest game in Major League Soccer en route to collecting assists on each of the Toronto goals, agreed with his coach that the young back four - which had an average age of under 22 on Saturday - needs to learn how to close out games.
"We work so hard and end up tying the game when the game was in our hands," Morgan said. "It's a shame that we gave two cheap goals away at the end of the game, but that's football. We need to learn our lessons, definitely, because we can't continue on like that."
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Mariner said that there's little time to dwell on this latest failure, as Toronto is back in action away in the midweek against a confident Montreal Impact side.
"The disappointment is palpable in there, obviously, they're absolutely gutted," the coach said. "They're feeling a little bit sorry for themselves, but that's football. It happens. You've got to dust yourself off, have a good rest tomorrow, couple of light sessions and bang away again on Wednesday."