Photos: Crew Ties Toronto FC in Saturday’s Matchup
A game changing triple-substitution from Columbus Crew SC gaffer Gregg Berhalter helped to kick-start an unlikely comeback as the home team clawed their way back from 0-3 down to level the game at 3-3 against last year’s MLS Champions, Toronto FC.
It was a first hour to forgot for an out of sorts looking Crew SC as Toronto ran away with the game. Ryan Telfer opened the scoring in the 16th minute to end Crew SC’s long running clean-sheet record, Tosaint Ricketts doubled the lead before half-time and shortly before the end of the hour Sebastian Giovinco looked like he’d put the game to bed with a trademark free kick.
Clearly unhappy with the way the evening was going, Berhalter made three changes, bringing on Eduardo Sosa, Alex Crognale and Luis Argudo, and within five minutes Crew SC managed to grab a lifeline through Gyasi Zardes’ towering header.
A Columbus attacking avalanche then proceeded to pound away at the Toronto defence while the away team seemed content to sit back and defend, much like they did during last years Eastern Championship game.
Alex Crognale found the net in the 81st minute to give Crew SC hope and in the final minute of regular time boo-boy target Michael Bradley tripped Zardes in the Toronto box and the referee instantly pointed to the spot.
Federico Higuain stepped up to take the resulting spot kick. Crew Stadium held it’s collective breath. Higuain scored. The stadium erupted as the almost unbelievable comeback was complete.
All photos by Matt Ellis.