Toronto FC

Columbus Crew 2, Toronto FC 0 | 2023 MLS Match Recap

The Reds headed to Ohio to take on Columbus Crew in Week 28 matchday action. 

Toronto goalkeeper Tomas Romero was called into action early and made a key save on Columbus forward Christian Ramírez in the 16th minute. Columbus opened the scoring in the 21st minute after forward Diego Rossi pounced on the rebound off of TFC goalkeeper Tomas Romero’s initial parried save on Columbus midfielder Darlington Nagbe.

After conceding the opening goal, TFC ramped up the pressure in the offensive zone. Columbus defender Malte Amundsen received the first yellow card of the match after a late challenge on Federico Bernardeschi in the 24th minute. The Italian shook off the late challenge and tried to help spark the TFC offence. TFC almost found the equalizer in the 25th minute when Bernardeschi’s cut-back pass made its way to Lorenzo Insigne, who rattled it off the Columbus post from the centre of the 18-yard-box. Columbus continued to pile on the pressure and rack up the shot attempts, but TFC goalkeeper Tomas Romero stood tall to close out the half. Romero denied Columbus winger Cucho Hernández’s attempt from the centre of the box in the 32nd minute. Right before the conclusion of the opening half, Toronto defender Shane O’Neill received TFC’s first yellow card of the game for a late challenge.

The Reds kicked off the second half searching for the tying goal. TFC substituted forward Deandre Kerr onto the pitch for CJ Sapong in the 46th minute. Lorenzo Insigne spotted teammate Deandre Kerr with an opportunity but Kerr’s right-footed shot from the centre of the box went wide in the 55th minute. Unfortunately for the Reds, TFC defender Shane O’Neill suffered an injury in the 57th minute and had to be substituted off for fellow defender Aimé Mabika. Even though TFC started to enjoy offensive momentum, Columbus still created chances that TFC goalkeeper Tomas Romero had to stand tall for. In the 58th minute Romero made a terrific bottom left-hand side save on Columbus winger Yaw Yeboah’s left-footed attempt. Just four minutes later, Romero was called into action again, this time denying Columbus midfielder Aidan Morris’s attempt on the bottom right-hand side. In the 64th minute, the Reds substituted Lorenzo Insigne off the pitch and handed new acquisition Cassius Mailula his TFC debut. Just one minute after coming onto the pitch, Mailula forced a save from Columbus goalkeeper Patrick Schulte after connecting on a header from Jonathan Osorio. TFC continued to rack up the chances.

In the 74th minute, Bernardeschi’s left-footed shot from outside the 18-yard box into the top right corner was saved by the Columbus goalkeeper. Just nine minutes later, Reds debutant Cassius Mailula spotted Bernardeschi with a chance, but Bernardeschi’s left-footed shot from the right-hand side of the box was denied by the Columbus goalkeeper. In the 89th minute, Columbus doubled their lead when goalkeeper Patrick Schulte’s long ball found forward Jacen Russell-Rowe, who slotted the ball into the bottom left.

The Reds return to action on Wednesday, August 30th at BMO Field vs Philadelphia Union.