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2019 Major League Soccer, Regular Season
  • Ayo Akinola (14')
  • Jordan Hamilton (45')
  • Jozy Altidore (80')
  • Carles Gil (9' PEN, 52')

Altidore hits Toronto FC's match-winner over the New England Revolution while Friedel fumes

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Altidore marks return with game winner for Toronto (2:07)

Jozy Altidore returned from injury with the game-winning goal in Toronto's home opener against the New England Revolution. (2:07)

Jozy Altidore scored the game-winning goal in the 80th minute to lead Toronto FC to a controversial 3-2 victory over the visiting New England Revolution on Sunday night.

Altidore, playing for the first time since undergoing ankle surgery five months ago, entered the game in the 68th minute with the scored tied, 2-2. The U.S. international scored 12 minutes later off a nice crossing pass across the top of the six-yard box by Justin Morrow, lifting a shot over diving Revolution goalie Brad Knighton into the right side of the goal.

Ayo Akinola had a goal and an assist, and Jordan Hamilton celebrated his 23rd birthday with a goal for Toronto, which has opened the MLS season with two victories for only the second time in team history. Jay Chapman added two assists while Alex Bono had two saves.

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Carles Gil scored both goals for the Revolution.

New England, which opened the season with a 1-1 draw at FC Dallas and then lost at home to the Columbus Crew SC 2-0, took its first lead of the season in the ninth minute on a penalty kick by Gil.

The score was set up when defender Chris Mavinga was called for tripping Revs' forward Teal Bunbury near the left side of the six-yard box.

Toronto tied it just five minutes later on Akinola's first career MLS goal. The 19-year-old U.S. youth international cut across the top of the penalty box from the left side and then fired a right-footed shot into the far corner of the goal.

Toronto took a 2-1 lead just before half-time when Hamilton tapped in a crossing pass from Chapman into the right side of the net. The goal caused a stir on the sidelines, with Revs boss Brad Friedel clearly unhappy with VAR's decision to allow the goal even though Chapman appeared to be offside.

"He's in an offside position when the pass is made to him, and that is why [Antonio Delamea] had to lunge for the ball. That's the play," Friedel said. "I don't agree with how they interpreted the rule. That is, I think, a common sense rule.

"I think if you ask anybody in the game, 'Do you think that was offside?' they would all say, 'Yes, and we don't agree with the rule.' So why is the rule the way it is?"

The Professional Referee Organization confirmed to ESPN's Jeff Carlisle after the match that Delamea's attempted interception of the pass had played Chapman onside: "The action by the defender is considered to be a deliberate play of the ball, which negates the offside position."

Postmatch, Bradley conceded that while the referee had made the correct call according to the letter of the law, he still did not agree with the decision.

"The discussion was that the way the offside rule is interpreted now, the referee made the right call," Bradley said after the match. "I don't think anybody likes the way that the law is interpreted right now. For me, that should be offside.

"But we've been on the wrong side of plays like that. It is what it is. The referee, as far as I understand, made the right call but for a lot of players, a lot of coaches it's a strange way to interpret the rule."