COLUMBUS, Ohio — A first-half goal from Andy Iro
would’ve been enough for the Columbus Crew on Saturday afternoon. But a
controversial second-half goal from Guillermo Barros Schelotto
finished things off the home-standing Crew defeated Toronto FC 2-0 in
the season opener for both.
Iro, starting for the injured Chad
Marshall, resembled center back usually starting in front of him he put
Columbus up in the 29th minute. Schelotto’s free kick near the right
sideline whipped into the box, where Iro slipped his marker and headed
the ball home from seven yards.
The goal, however, got Toronto
going. Just two minutes later, Martin Saric wheeled and fired a
left-footed shot from 20 yards on the right side of the arc that forced
William Hesmer to the ground for the save.
Schelotto, the Crew’s
scoring leader last season with 12 goals, almost opened his account
this year in the 37th minute when he pounced on a back pass from Ty
Harden. The Argentine pushed the ball the TFC goal but was unable to
get a quality touch before Stefan Frei came off the line to knock the
The Reds, despite being without injured striker
Chad Barrett, continued to press for the equalizer as the second half
ticked along. Just before the break, O’Brian White sent a shot inches
wide. White was active all day, and he went close just after halftime
with a box-to-box run. His rising strike forced Crew keeper Will Hesmer
into a fine save, lunging to his left to get his fingertips on the
shot and preserve the lead.
Schelotto then iced the game in the
87th minute. A collision between Frei and Crew defender Danny O’Rourke
on the fringe of the Toronto penalty area produced a loose ball and an
open net. Toronto defender Nick Garcia tried to clear, but the ball
fell to Schelotto, who had the easiest of shots to ensure the full
points for Columbus.
Both Toronto and Columbus have next week
off. On April 10, TFC travel to New England and the Crew are away to FC
for complete highlights.
– Andy Iro 1 (Guillermo Barros Schelotto), 29'; CLB Schelotto 1, 87'.
TFC – Martin
Saric (caution, reckless foul), 23rd; TFC—Nena Attakora (caution,
recklees foul), 77th: CLB Moffat (caution, reckless tackle), 92+
TFC: Frei, Attakora, Brennan, Garcia, Harden, Saric
(Sanyang, 66th), de Guzman, Cronin, Gala (LaBrocca, 52nd), De Rosario,
CLB: Hesmer, Hejduk (Padula, 89th), Iro,
Brunner, O’Rourke , Carroll, Moffat, Rogers, Gaven, Schelotto, Lenhart