Late-match struggles return.
Columbus Crew SC allowed two goals from Toronto FC forward Tosaint Ricketts in the final 10 minutes and fall to the visitors 2-1. Crew SC midfielder Federico Higuain found the back of the net in the 28th minute for the lone goal of the home side, while goalkeeper Zack Steffen recorded just one save.
The Black & Gold began match without the suspended Gregg Berhalter, and in a strange 3-5-2 formation with three defenders for the first time since week three. The tactics, however, proved to be effective as Crew SC controlled much of the possession in the first 45.
After a flurry of attacks early on from Columbus, midfielder Wil Trapp fed a pass to streaking striker Ola Kamara, and the Norwegian was taken down in the box for a penalty kick. Higuain stepped up to the spot, and chipped his shot into the back of the net to give Crew SC the 1-0 lead in the 28th minute with his fourth goal of the season.
Just 10 minutes later, it was the visitors’ turn to try to convert from the spot. After a strange deflection off the head of Black & Gold defender Alex Crognale, Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore collected the loose ball and made a move on Steffen before being taken down by the ‘keeper for penalty kick.
Altidore’s attempt to equalize, however, was met by the hand of Steffen — his most action of the night — and cleared away to keep the Black & Gold lead intact. As both sides entered the dressing rooms, Crew SC held the advantage, 1-0.
Despite the second stanza beginning much more evenly possession wise, quality chances remained minimal for both clubs. Columbus seemed to be in the driver’s seat for most of the half defensively, but that would last only so long.
In the 80th minute, a cross from Toronto FC’s Raheem Edwards found the head of a waiting Ricketts and ended in the back of the net to equalize for the visitors. 10 minutes later, Ricketts added his second to record a brace and propel The Reds into the lead for good, 2-1.
With the (win/loss) marking the end of three-match homestand, Columbus Crew SC will travel on a short week to Stade Saputo Saturday for the first of two clashes with the Montreal Impact this season. Sitting in 10th in the Eastern Conference table, the Impact defeated D.C. United last Saturday 1-0 behind a goal from Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla. Kickoff from Canada is slated for 5:00 p.m.