clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Crew earns road draw against Toronto FC

It wasn’t pretty, but the Black & Gold earned a point on the road.

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Toronto FC Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

On a frigidly cold night north of the U.S. border, the Columbus Crew took on Trillium Cup rivals Toronto FC for their home opener of the young 2023 MLS campaign. The Black & Gold went down early but respond to get a 1-1 draw on the road.

The Crew had a good chance early on to get on the board when midfielder Alexandru Matan weaved around a plethora of defenders and into the penalty area. His pass to the back post for playmaker Lucas Zelarayan gave the Black & Gold hope, but the ensuing shot sailed high over the net.

Columbus, just like the previous two matches, controlled the game within the first 15 minutes, not allowing Toronto any time on the ball.

The Crew had another opportunity to break the 0-0 deadlock in the 11th minute, when an off-target shot by midfielder Darlington Nagbe found the head of center back Philip Quinton, but his attempt went just wide of the net.

It was the home side who found the breakthrough in the 25th minute when midfielder Deandre Kerr found a way around center back Milos Degenek and fired home a shot past goalkeeper Eloy Room.

Toronto found a way to slow down Columbus, forcing them to reset multiple times, not allowing any advancement forward.

The home side had a golden opportunity to double its lead in the 31st minute when Jonathan Osorio took advantage of Quinton slipping on the grass and fired a shot on goal that was quickly saved by Room.

With Columbus gaining momentum and earning two consecutive corner kicks to round out the first half, not danger ensued as Toronto was able to escape the half with their 1-0 lead.

It was more of the same in the second half, with the Crew trying to find the equalizer. TFC kept their foot on the gas to start and gave the Crew trouble and didn’t allow any good looks on goal.

However, in the 75th minute, left back Jimmy Medranda played hero as he chipped Reds goalkeeper Sean Johnson to bring the score level. The offside went up right after, but the goal went to VAR and ultimately stood.

The home side came close to claiming the lead back in the 85th minute, when a shot by midfielder Richie Lareya sailed high above the crossbar.

As time dwindled down and the match coming close to a halt, the resiliency of Columbus shined through as the Crew battled to the end, throwing everything into the attack. It came close to squeezing out a win late in the game, when a shot by forward Cucho Hernandez hit the post, falling right to Matan who just missed the frame on the rebound.

The fight the Black & Gold had, saw the visitors end the match with a 1-1 draw. It was a point that was hard-earned, and ultimately well-deserved.

Welcome Jimmy Medranda

It was a debut of a lifetime for newcomer Medranda, who saw his first action in a Crew uniform go from good to great. Just minutes coming into the game, Medranda scored the equalizing goal to help Columbus earn a point on the road.

Costly mistakes

After a promising start to the first half, Columbus found themselves getting too complacent, making costly mistakes such as bad passes, turnovers, and bad footing. Granted, it was the weather playing a factor, but Toronto FC took to Columbus and made them pay for a majority of the game.

What’s next?

Next up for Columbus, they travel to Red Bull Arena to take on the New York Red Bulls. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.