KIA Game in Six Minutes
TORONTO - The faces were new, but the result was the same for Toronto FC, as Federico Higuaín and the Columbus Crew continued their mastery of their Trillium Cup rivals in a 1-0 victory at BMO Field on Saturday.
Newcomers Steven Caldwell, Jeremy Brockie and Bobby Convey all made their TFC debuts, but it went for naught as the Reds dropped their fourth straight game in MLS play. Conversely, Columbus snapped a two-game winless and scoreless streak of their own.
Dominic Oduro broke through with the game-winning goal for the Crew in the 42nd minute after a pin-point lead pass by Higuaín on a play in which TFC defender Doneil Henry was caught too far up the pitch to recover against the lighting-quick Columbus forward.
Both teams generated plenty of scoring chances but lacked the finishing touch in an often hapless first half. Higuaín hit both the crossbar and the post while TFC attackers Robert Earnshaw, Luis Silva and Justin Braun each blew good opportunities right in front of goal.
Toronto came closest in the 38th minute when Silva did a fantastic job to head an Earnshaw cross back across the box to a wide-open Braun, who ultimately volleyed the ball wide of the Columbus net when he actually had time to control the ball and deliver a more controlled shot.
TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen attempted to jumpstart his team’s offense to start the second half by bringing on recently acquired winger Convey, then substituting in Brockie in the 64th minute. But the Reds still struggled to engineer scoring opportunities against a Crew backline missing stalwart central defender Chad Marshall due to injury.
With the loss, Toronto are still looking for their first regular-season win at BMO Field under Nelsen and saw their winless streak in league play stretch to nine games. They next head to New England on May 25.
CLM– Dominic Oduro 42’
CLM – Tyson Wahl 60’ (caution)
CLM – Glauber 78’ (caution)
CLM – Aaron Schoenfeld 87’ (caution)
TFC – Matias Laba 92’ (caution)
TORONTO FC RECORD: 1-6-4 7 POINTS
COLUMBUS CREW RECORD: 4-4-3 15 POINTS
Toronto FC – Joe Bendik; Ryan Richter, Steven Caldwell, Doneil Henry, Darren O’Dea ©; Reggie Lambe (Jeremy Brockie 64’), Jeremy Hall (Jonathan Osorio 57’), Matias Laba, Luis Silva; Justin Braun (Bobby Convey 45’), Robert Earnshaw
Substitutes not used: Stefan Frei, Danny Califf, Ashtone Morgan, John Bostock
Columbus Crew – Andy Gruenebaum; Tyson Wahl (Chad Barson 83’), Eric Gehrig, Josh Williams, Glauber; Dominic Oduro (Aaron Schoenfeld 85’), Tony Tchani, Justin Meram (Ethan Finlay 79’), Matias Sanchez, Eddie Gaven; Federico Higuain
Subsitutes Not Used: Konrad Warzycha, Ryan Finley, Will Trapp, Matt Lampson