Columbus Crew SC defeated their Canadian rivals Toronto FC 2-1 to take the first leg of the Trillium Cup.
The first half was dominated by Toronto FC. Holding a majority portion of the possession fact, they certainly showed that they are a more attack-minded team, not allowing Columbus to have good possession within the first ten minutes.
Columbus got a chance off early when Niko Hansen found midfielder Federico Higuain inside of the box. Higuain was able to get a shot off, but it hit the outside of the net, and out for a Toronto goal kick.
The Reds got on the board first in the 21st minute when Victor Vazquez sent in a corner kick that found the head of Jozy Altidore. That gave the away side good momentum to keep attacking and pressing the Crew SC backline.
Toronto had many more chances to attack and score, including Jozy Altidore going for his second of the night. Crew keeper Zack Steffan denied both attempts to keep the score 1-0.
Columbus would eventually equalize in the 38th minute when Hansen slipped a low cross in to find Ola Kamara at the back post to tap it in for the tie. Game on in Columbus.
In the 42nd minute, Artur was able to get a good looking shot off but deflected out for a corner kick. On the ensuing corner, Higuain found the head of Alex Crognale who put it down for the outside foot of Justin Meram. Meram put it past Bono to give the home side a 2-1 lead into the half.
Columbus earned a quick free kick in the second half. Kamara would take the kick but the Toronto wall did the job to defend the hard shot well.
Columbus, on the attack again, saw Hansen well into the penalty area attempting a shot on goal. But Nick Hagglund performed a well-timed slide tackle to break up the possible danger in front of keeper Alex Bono.
Toronto would earn a free kick just above the 18-yard box after a foul by Crew SC in the 64th minute. The kick from Giovinco sailed high over the net and out for a goal kick. Good chance were created by the Reds, but they couldn’t convert to find an equalizer.
Toronto was able to take advantage of a counter attack in the 75th minute. Vazquez tried to find Giovinco who was making a far post run, but defender Crognale was able to clear it out for a Toronto corner kick. The kick ended up finding the hands of Steffan cleanly, who was able to distribute out quickly for an attack for the Black and Gold.
Michael Bradley earned the game’s first yellow card in the 80th minute after he wiped out Crew SC midfielder Justin Meram.
Columbus was able to hold off the defending Eastern Conference Champions and rivals Toronto FC, maintaining the 2-1 scoreline. Columbus took the first leg of the Trillium Cup in front of their home fans.
Columbus Crew SC travel to New Jersey to take on the New York Red Bulls in another Eastern Conference showdown. Meanwhile, Toronto head back home to take on a red-hot Chicago Fire squad.
Photo Credit: Columbus Crew SC Communications