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August 6, 2016
Giovinco has hat trick as Reds rout Revs

Teal Bunbury's late goal was too little, too late for the Revolution against Toronto FC on Saturday.
Teal Bunbury's late goal was too little, too late for the Revolution against Toronto FC on Saturday.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
TORONTO--In a battle of last season’s top scorers, Kei Kamara and the New England Revolution were no match for Sebastian Giovinco, as the reigning MLS MVP notched a hat trick to lead Toronto FC to a decisive 4-1 conference victory at raucous BMO Field on Saturday night.

Giovinco scored two brilliant goals in the opening half-hour and added a second-half penalty kick to move past David Villa into the league scoring lead with fifteen goals, while Jozy Altidore slotted in a stoppage-time clincher on the final action of the night as the second-place Reds (10-7-6, 36 points) claimed their fifth straight home win.

Teal Bunbury came off the bench to pull one back late for New England (6-9-8, 26 points) off a deep cross from Kelyn Rowe, but the Revolution’s road woes continued (1-7-4) as they dropped their second straight game away from Foxborough by a lopsided margin and remain clinging to the sixth spot in the East.

After forfeiting a 1-0 halftime lead in a 3-1 loss in Orlando last Sunday and entering the weekend with the league’s second worst goal differential at -8, New England Head Coach Jay Heaps shook up Revolution lineup with an eye to the upcoming U.S. Open Cup Semifinal on Tuesday, making four changes.

Daigo Kobayashi, Diego Fagundez and Gershon Koffie entered into the midfield, with Koffie making his first start since leaving with a right knee sprain against FC Dallas on May 21, while veteran defender Darrius Barnes made his first appearance of the season, getting the nod at right back.

As both sides struggled to establish a rhythm early, Koffie registered an immediate impression, tracking danger man Giovinco and breaking up the Toronto counterattack, but when the Revs failed to clear a 20th-minute Toronto corner kick, Giovinco struck for the first time.

Pouncing on a deflected Michael Bradley shot from distance, the 2015 Golden Boot winner buried a first-time dagger inside the left post from just inside the right corner of the 18-yard box.

The Revs responded positively with Chris Tierney forcing a goal line clearance from Bradley and Rowe testing Toronto netminder Alex Bono, but when referee Ted Unkel disregarded a high boot from Mark Bloom that allowed the Toronto left back to strip the ball from Rowe in the New England end, Giovinco struck again.

Collecting the takeaway in the left corner and circling to the top of the penalty area, the diminutive magician curled a masterful strike into the roof of the net over Bobby Shuttleworth’s outstretched fingers.

Shuttleworth kept the Revs within reach heading into the locker room, denying Tosaint Ricketts with an alert kick save after the Canada international was sprung free on goal by a deft through pass from countryman Jay Chapman.

Kamara had a chance three minutes from intermission on a break down the right channel, but the New England DP put his shot into the side netting from a short angle.

Kamara appeared to halve the lead in the lead in the 63rd minute off a through pass from Rowe, but Assistant Referee Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho judged the Revolution striker a hair offside.

Matters went from bad to worse for the Revs when Jonathan Osorio split Rowe and Barnes at the edge of the box in and Unkel pointed to spot as Barnes clipped Osorio from behind.

Shuttleworth got a touch on Giovinco’s ensuing penalty kick but couldn’t prevent it from reaching the back of the net to put the home side up 3-0 in the 75th minute.

Bunbury, who entered for Koffie in the 57th minute, was able to get a leg on a cross from Rowe from deep on the right sideline to sweep home his second goal of the season from close range in the 88th minute but it was too little, too late.

The outcome was no longer in doubt in the third and final minute of stoppage time when the Reds played a free quick quickly in the attacking end and Altidore, who had come on in the second half, was able to beat the sleeping and demoralized Revs.

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