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Black & Gold earn point after strong defensive performance in Toronto

Columbus Crew SC played to its third consecutive draw in a hard-fought 0-0 tie with Toronto FC at BMO Field Saturday night. The Black & Gold had several opportunities to walk away with three points, however, outshooting the hosts 15-8.

Columbus came closest in the 51st minute when Justin Meram and Federico Higuain combined for the best chance of the night. First, Meram took a page out of the Pipa chip handbook to beat TFC goalkeeper Clint Irwin, but his attempt hit the left post. Higuain’s follow up just seconds later was blocked by Toronto defender Josh Williams.

A minute later Meram fired off another shot that was deflected and blocked by a diving Irwin.

Other notable opportunities for the Black & Gold included Higuain’s bicycle kick in the 17th, Ola Kamara’s header that was blocked by Irwin in the 43rd and Hector Jimenez’ shot that sailed over the crossbar in the third minute of stoppage time.

On the other end of the pitch, Sebastian Giovinco had the best opportunities for Toronto. Twice, the MLS MVP found his master in Steve Clark. First, the Crew SC goalkeeper denied Giovinco’s shot from distance with a diving save (36th). Later, Columbus goal stopper came up with a huge block one-on-one with the Italian (80th).

In between, Giovinco wasted what was Toronto’s biggest opportunity when his shot from short distance went wide in the 68th minute.

In the end, neither team could break the deadlock and Crew SC walked away with a point after a strong defensive performance. The Black & Gold are back in action next Saturday when they host Real Salt Lake at MAPFRE Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

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