RECAP | Columbus finishes comeback to lift 2018 Trillium Cup

Columbus Crew SC fought back from a 3-0 deficient to earn a draw against Toronto FC on Saturday at MAPFRE Stadium on Acura Night — extending the Club's current unbeaten run eight matches. The final score, combined on aggregate with Crew SC's season opening 2-0 win at Toronto, brought the Trillium Cup back to Columbus for the first time since 2015. 

The Black & Gold rebounded after a shaky first half that saw them give up two goals to Toronto. The opening strike came via a Victor Vazquez penalty kick awarded to Toronto in the 16th minute. Nearing the end of the first half, Toronto doubled its lead with a goal from substitute Tosaint Ricketts. 

The second half began just like the first with a Sebastian Giovinco free kick goal from Toronto in the 57th minute. Columbus took control of the game just 10 minutes later with a goal from Gyasi Zardes. Midfielder Federico Higuain sent a corner kick to Zardes, who headed the ball into the back of the net. 

 

In the final 10 minutes of the match, defender Alex Crognale latched onto a loose ball inside the 6-yard box and scored after a free kick from Higuain — Crognale's first goal of the season. Higuain’s free kick went left and was headed across the goal by Josh Williams. Crognale finished the possession with a one-touch goal. 

With two minutes left in regulation, Columbus won a penalty as Zardes was fouled inside the box. Toronto’s Michael Bradley committed the foul, giving Columbus the opportunity to equalize. Higuain stepped up to the spot and cemented the comeback with a strike to the left corner of the net.

Columbus out-possessed Toronto by 57 percent. Crew SC is now unbeaten in eight games, tying the league’s longest unbeaten streak for this season.

The Black & Gold kicks off the 2018 U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, June 6, at MAPFRE Stadium. The matchup against the Chicago Fire begins at 7 p.m. ET. Returning to the regular season, Crew SC hosts the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, June 9, at 5 p.m. ET at MAPFRE Stadium. 

 

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NOTES

  • Forward Gyasi Zardes scored a goal in tonight’s match against Toronto FC. The American forward scored his ninth goal of the MLS regular season off of a corner kick from Federico Higuain in the 67th minute. The score marks Zardes’ 43rd goal of his career. This season, Zardes has started in all 15 matches for Crew SC and has made 146 regular-season appearances (131 starts) in his MLS career.
     
  • Midfielder Federico Higuain recorded a goal and an assist in tonight’s match against Toronto FC. The assist came from a corner kick in the 67th minute that Gyasi Zardes headed into the back of the net. The goal was Higuain’s 19th career penalty-kick goal and third penalty-kick goal of the season. Higuain leads Crew SC in all-time penalty kick goals, as he extends his lead on Guillermo Barros Scheletto (13). In addition, Higuain has more penalty-kick goals than anyone in the MLS since he joined the League in 2012, surpassing New York City FC forward David Villa (18) with tonight’s goal. This season, Higuain has scored four goals and provided six assists in 15 regular-season appearances (14 starts). Higuain’s six assists leads all members of the Black & Gold this season. Since joining the club in 2012, the Argentine has made 164 appearances (158 starts), and has become one of 18 players in MLS history to reach the 50-50 club, having tallied 52 goals and 55 assists.
     
  • Defender Alex Crognale scored his first career MLS regular-season goal for the Black & Gold in tonight’s match against Toronto FC. The goal came in the 81st minute as the Ohio native tapped-in a ball that was bouncing around in the penalty box. This season, Crognale has made five regular-season appearances, and since joining the club last year, he has made 22 appearances (15 starts) and recorded one assist and now one goal.With tonight’s 3-3 draw, Crew SC has secured the 2018 Trillium Cup via total 4-1 on points (three points in the March 3 win and one point in the draw tonight) This is the Black & Gold’s seventh Trillium Cup since the trophy’s inception in 2008. In addition, this is the first time Crew SC has secured the Cup since 2015.
     
  • Eduardo Sosa made his first career MLS regular-season appearance in tonight’s match against Toronto FC. Sosa came on as a substitute in the 63rd minute for Niko Hansen, recording 31 touches, completing 22 passes and making three tackles. Sosa joined Crew SC on January 9, 2018 after playing for five years with the Venezuelan club Zamora FC. In his time with Zamora FC, Sosa made 59 appearances, including 38 starts for the club. In 2017, he recorded all eight of his career goals along with six assists to help Zamora FC win the Venezuelan Primera Division title, their third league title in his five seasons with the club.
     
  • With goals by Zardes, Crognale and Higuain, Crew SC extends its regular-season goal-scoring streak to 15 consecutive matches, dating back to a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union on July 22, 2017. Over that span, the Black & Gold have compiled a regular-season winning record of 11-1-3 at home, outscoring opponents 32-16. In 2018, Crew SC has a regular-season home record of 5-1-2 while outscoring opponents 20-11.
     
  • With tonight’s 3-3 draw with Toronto FC, Crew SC extends their regular-season unbeaten streak to eight games, dating back to a 2-2 draw on April 21 against the New England Revolution. Since then, Crew SC has posted a record of 4-0-4, outscoring their opponents by a score of 12-6.
     
  • With tonight’s 3-3 draw with Toronto FC, the Black & Gold are now 3-0-1 when Federico Higuain scores, and 4-0-2 when he provides an assist. This undefeated record dates back to the first match of the season when Higuain scored the game-winning goal against Toronto FC (March 3) in a 2-0 victory for the club. In addition, Crew SC is now 5-0-2 on the season when scoring at least two goals, and 2-0-1 when scoring three.
     
  • With Victor Vazquez’s (Toronto FC) 17th minute penalty-kick goal, Crew SC’s shutout streak came to an end at a club-record 511 minutes. The streak dated back to the 45th minute of a home match against the San Jose Earthquakes on April 28. The goalless streak surpassed a previous string of four-straight clean sheets from March 26, 2011 to April 16, 2011.
     
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