Toronto defender Doneil Henry said he's not one to shy away when he makes mistakes and accepted full blame for a pair of miscues which resulted in New England Revolution goals.
Henry, who missed three games with a knee injury, was charged with a handball in the penalty area in the 82nd minute as he went to block a strike from Patrick Mullins. On the ensuing penalty kick, Lee Nguyen picked up his fourth goal of the season, giving the Revolution a 2-1 win Saturday afternoon.
Henry's turnover in the 24th minute led to the Revolution's first goal of the day. Daigo Kobayashi capitalized on the turnover and sent the through ball in for rookie Mullins, whose left-footed strike beat a diving Julio Cesar to tie the game 1-1. The goal was Mullins' first of his Major League Soccer career.
"That pass there on the first goal, that's my fault, I take full blame for that, but it was a tough match," said Henry. "I think we were very unfortunate not to put more goals in the back of the net, but at the end of the day, I have to get better, and that's on me.
"Second half penalty, dying seconds of the game, that's unfortunate, no way I go to hand ball that, I'm not even looking at the ball. I just tried to put my body in the way."
In Henry's absence defender Bradley Orr filled in at centre-back, but TFC coach Ryan Nelsen felt Orr was playing out of position.
"Doneil had been training really well and him and Steven [Caldwell] are centre-backs, Brad is not a centre-back," Nelsen explained. "Also, if you look at the attributes of Steven and Bradley, they're very similar type players. I thought we needed some athleticism.
"I didn't think that was our problem."
The win was the first in eight tries at BMO Field for New England (4-3-2), and stretches its undefeated streak to four games.
'I thought the first half, early on, we created some good chances. ... I thought we were the better side in the second half.' - Toronto FC forward Jermain Defoe
Toronto (3-4-0) has now lost three straight.
Henry had an opportunity to redeem himself in the 84th minute as Michael Bradley sent in a cross off a set piece, but Henry's header sailed just over the bar.
Then in the 86th minute, Gilberto put a header off a Mark Bloom cross off the post.
"I thought the first half, early on, we created some good chances, just unlucky not to score, it's frustrating. I thought we were the better side in the second half," said Jermain Defoe, who returned to the Reds lineup after missing five weeks due to a hamstring injury. "Overall I thought we were the better team, especially the second half, they didn't really create anything. We were the ones creating everything for the chances."
Toronto opened the scoring in the sixth minute as Jackson's strike deflected off of Revolution defender A.J. Soares and got past keeper Bobby Shuttleworth. The goal was Jackson's first in MLS.
Mullins had an excellent chance to give the visitors a 2-1 lead in the 28th minute with a strike in the area but put it wide of the goal.
"The most important thing is that we got the three points, especially in a tough place to play on the road," said Mullins. "I think the big thing today was not me scoring or Lee scoring, it was a full team effort from start to finish and us getting the win."
Cesar made a huge save off of Teal Bunbury in the 39th minute. A Revs midfielder sent the ball into the area for Bunbury, but he failed to get enough on the ball before Cesar was able to grab possession of the ball.
Gilberto had a number of first half chances for Toronto. In the fifth minute, the forward put his strike just wide of the net. Then in the 30th minute, Gilberto's strike from the left side of the box went of the far goal post.
Jackson was handed a yellow card in the 43rd minute for a dangerous play as his boot caught Revs defender Chris Tierney in the chest.
"It's really difficult when you start slow, and they capitalized on that scoring early," said Revolution coach, Jay Heaps. "The first half was very open, it could have been 2-2 and I thought that the team fought hard and found a way to win as we didn't play our best so that is always nice."
The two teams reconvene August 30 at Gillette Stadium in New England before a third and final meeting Oct. 25 at BMO Field.