Columbus Crew SC hosted Toronto FC in the second leg of the Trillium Cup. After defeating their Canadian rivals in the first leg, Columbus looked to sweep the Reds in their second meeting of the season to reclaim the cup. Toronto FC did so without Sebastian Giovinco, while Crew SC played without head coach Gregg Berhalter. In addition, when the starting lineups were released, Crew SC was lined up in a 3-5-2. Once the whistle blew, Columbus did-way and went back to the traditional 4-2-3-1 formation.
Toronto FC Claim Leg Two of Trillium Cup With 2-1 Win
Columbus Dominates First Half
Columbus had a great chance just four minutes in when a free kick found the foot of former Toronto FC defender Josh Williams. However, Williams couldn’t connect and it went out for a goal kick.
Toronto had a good chance early on when Morrow found captain Michael Bradley just a few yards out of the 18-yard box. Bradley tried to feed Chapman but the ball was a little long. On the opposite end, Meram let off a shot but keeper Alex Bono was there to make the save.
Higuain had a look at goal in the 26th minute. His shot was deflected, but Bono was there for the save.
The home side would break the deadlock in the 28th minute after Ola Kamara was pulled down by Eriq Zavaleta inside the penalty area. The Maestro in Higuain would take the penalty kick, and he chipped Bono to place the ball in the net. 1-0 to the Black and Gold. This was the first penalty this season conceded by the Reds.
Toronto was granted a penalty of their own in the 37th minute after Crew SC keeper Zack Steffen brought down Jozy Altidore. The two would face again with Altidore taking the kick, but Steffen came up huge with a save to keep the score 1-0.
Columbus would go to the break with the 1-0 lead, courtesy of a Higuain penalty kick goal. The home side, as of before the opening kick of this game, had a 4-0-1 record when in the lead at halftime.
Toronto FC Have Late Heroics in Second Half
Columbus had a great opportunity to double the lead when Alex Bono headed the ball clear to Trapp. Trapp, from long, took a shot on goal but the TFC keeper was there to make the save.
Another great chance for Columbus in the 57th minute when Waylon Francis saw an open goal, but his shot went high over the crossbar.
Toronto clawed their way back numerous times during the second half, but chances were broken up by the Crew SC defense and midfield. No goals for the Reds about halfway through.
Finlay received the ball on the wing from Meram, but his first touch would let him down and the through ball skipped away and cleared out for a corner kick. On the ensuing corner, Columbus would play it short, but the heavy pressure from TFC would come in handy and Toronto would stop the danger.
Justin Meram came oh so close in the 79th minute when he would get past Zavaleta and take a shot on goal, but it rolled just wide of the frame.
The visitors would finally have a lifeline of their own when Raheem Edwards chipped the ball to find Tosaint Ricketts in the box. Ricketts headed the ball down and into the net to tie the game.
The Reds almost got their first lead of the game when Altidore let go a shot and a trailing TFC player almost got their foot on the end of it. The ball would roll out for a goal kick.
Ricketts gave Toronto their first lead of the game when a loose ball was tucked home, giving Ricketts his second goal of the game.
The three-game home stand would end 1-1-1 for Crew SC as they fall to Toronto FC by a score of 2-1.
After possessing the ball 53% of the game, Toronto would finally calm down Crew SC. Columbus would win the possession stat with 51% while TFC ended with 49%.
Columbus would set a season high for corner kicks, having ended with ten during the 90 minutes. Toronto managed just one. On paper, Columbus were the better team statistically. However, claiming the Trillium Cup would have to wait one more game.
Nine of Crew SC’s next 13 games occur on the road. They start their three-game road trip this Saturday as they travel to Quebec to take on the Montreal Impact. Toronto are back at BMO Field to host Minnesota United in their first and only matchup of the season.