Toronto FC extended their winning streak to five games with a 2-1 victory over Columbus Crew SC thanks to a second half brace from substitute Tosaint Ricketts. Most of the game TFC looked like a team that was completing its third game in eight days and was second best until they came alive in the last ten minutes with some helpful defending from Crew SC.
Ricketts’ winning goal came on 90 minutes and it was from a left field cross provided by fellow substitute Raheem Edwards, who was giving time and space to deliver. Victor Vazquez got a nick on the cross and it evaded three Crew SC defenders before finding Ricketts free at the far post to stab home.
The opening 25 minutes had started at a slow pace, containing lots of sideways passes with Toronto happy to soak up the pressure and willing Columbus to break them down.
The game finally took off after 28 minute thanks to a Federico Higuaín penalty. Wil Trapp, making he’s 100th appearance for Crew SC, supplied Ola Kamara with a through ball and Eriq Zavaleta was on the wrong side of Kamara and could only bring him down. Higuaín stepped up to cheekily chip the penalty down the center of the goal for his 43rd career goal for the Crew.
Toronto had the chance to level things on 37 minutes with a penalty chance of their own. A long punt forward was mistimed by Alex Crognale and his header fell to Jozy Altidore, who knocked the ball around Zack Steffen, but fell under the keeper’s outstretched arm. The resulting penalty by Altidore was saved down to Steffen’s right.
Columbus were the better team in the second half but struggled for creativity in the final third. Their best change fell to Crognale from a corner, rising the highest at the far post but his downward header was pushed around the post by Alexander Bono.
With just ten minutes left to play the game would be turned thanks to the substitutes combining. Vazquez played the ball out wide to Edwards and his floated cross was headed home by Ricketts from six yards, leaving his marker Jonathan Mensah trailing behind.
Columbus Crew SC now have a run of three away games with nine of the next 13 on the road, starting against more Canadian opposition, in the form of Montreal Impact, on Saturday.