Streaks came and went, but the result at BMO Field was no different for the Crew on Saturday.
Despite seeing their club-record scoreless streak end at 431 minutes when Toronto FC’s Tony Tchani scored in the 41st minute, a goal by Emilio Renteria in the 51st minute knotted the score at 1-1 as the teams played to their fifth straight tie in Toronto.
“It’s a tough place to play with the crowd, but they’re not a very good team,” Crew captain Chad Marshall said. “We’re disappointed we can’t get a win here.”
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Even worse for TFC, the Crew improved to 5-0-7 all-time against their foes for the Trillium Cup.
“They’re supposed to be our rival, or whatever you want to call it,” Marshall said. “We still haven’t given them three points yet, so we’re happy with that.”
Still, it was both a good and bad day for Columbus (2-1-3). While pleased to get a point on the road to run their unbeaten streak to five since losing the opener, they failed to take advantage of the red card to Tchani after he was charged with unsporting behavior following his score – the first goal for the Reds (1-2-4) in 281 minutes.
“We should have won the game, to be honest with you,” Crew coach Robert Warzycha said. “We have to be smarter playing a man up and we have to finish. It’s that simple. A tie is pretty good, but obviously we played 45 minutes with an extra man. We should have scored one more goal."
Columbus saw their opponent play down a man for the second straight match and for the third time in the last four games. With Rentería’s goal, three of the Crew’s five scores this season have come in the 123 minutes they have been up a man.
“We have to find a way to score,” Warzycha said of the man advantage. “We want to score so bad and everybody wants to help and go forward. Sometimes that’s not the right tactic. We have to be more patient.”
Marshall knows the Crew should have done better.
“We wanted three [points],” he said. “We knew they’re a team that’s kind of struggling right now. Even though it’s on their turf we wanted this game. We’ll take the point, but we had a goal so quickly in the second half and we’re a man up, so we’re disappointed.”
They had a right to be. Tchani was issued his first caution in the 37th minute for retaliating for Kevin Burns’s yellow-card challenge on Danleigh Borman. Tchani scored four minutes later when Julian de Guzman chipped the ball over defender Sebastian Miranda. Referee David Gantar booked Tchani a second time when he left the playing field to celebrate with the fans.
“I didn’t even know that was a rule,” Marshall said. “It was a good way for us to find out, bad for them.”
It was also the break the Crew needed.
“I like the way team the team responded,” Warzycha said. “The last five minutes of the first half we pushed a little bit and obviously the first few minutes [after halftime] we scored.”
Rentería got his first of the season with a header from about 12 yards out from a service by Miranda, who earned his first point in his sixth MLS game after being signed out of Chile in the offseason.
“He’s a good defender and a good passer,” Warzycha said. “You saw that on the goal. He has a lot of qualities.”