COLUMBUS — The 2017 Trillium Cup will have to wait until the third and final match on May 26 to be decided. Columbus Crew SC fell at home, 2-1, to Toronto FC on Wednesday night even after superior play early in the match and on the stat sheet.
Federico Higuain pushed the Black & Gold ahead with a chipped penalty kick in the 28th minute after Ola Kamara was dragged down inside the box. Higuain’s 43rd career goal as a member of Crew SC gave him sole possession of fourth place all-time for the Club, breaking a tie with Edson Buddle.
Columbus’ defense was also on display during the match. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen caused the stands of MAPFRE Stadium to erupt in the 38th minute when he made a diving save to prevent a penalty kick goal by Toronto forward Jozy Altidore.
The equalizer was scored by Toronto on a header by Tosaint Ricketts in the 81st minute. Ricketts was assisted on a cross by Raheem Edwards. Victor Vazquez was also awarded a secondary assist on the score after his ball to Edwards.
The three Toronto attackers continued their pressure shortly thereafter when they netted another in the 90th minute. Ricketts was again on the receiving end, but this time primarily from Vazquez on a long cross that eluded Crew SC defenders.
Wednesday marked the 30th all-time match between Crew SC (5-5-1, 16 points) and Toronto (6-1-4, 22 points). Columbus leads the series by a record of 13-7-10.
Despite the loss, The Black & Gold outshot Toronto 18-9 and had more shots on target by a margin of 6-3. Crew SC also led in corners taken (10-1) and crosses (27-5).
28’ – CLB – Federico Higuain (PK)
81’ – TOR – Tosaint Ricketts (Raheem Edwards, Victor Vazquez)
90’ – TOR – Tosaint Ricketts (Victor Vazquez, Raheem Edwards)
Wednesday’s contest came in the middle of a whirlwind slate for Crew SC that includes seven matches between May 6 and June 3.
Both defender Waylon Francis and midfielder Hector Jimenez appeared in their 75th career regular season match for Crew SC on Wednesday night. Francis started the match and Jimenez entered as a substitution for Josh Williams in the 66th minute.
Toronto FC star Jozy Altidore was held scoreless on three shots in the match, along with Steffen’s big penalty-kick save against the U.S. Men's National teamer. Altidore entered the match tied for third place in the 2017 Golden Boot race with six goals on the season.
Columbus Crew SC returns to action on the road against the Montreal Impact on Saturday, March 13 at 5 p.m. ET.
The Black & Gold return home to MAPFRE Stadium for a match against Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday, May 31 at 7:30 p.m. ET.