Report: Toronto FC V Columbus Crew
Wednesday November 29
After a 0-0 draw in the first leg at MAPFRE stadium in Ohio, Columbus Crew knew they had to find the net in Toronto to stand any chance of progressing. Not only would that be tough, but Toronto FC were bolstered by the return of Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore.
On a blustery evening that saw long sleeves favoured on the pitch and scarves on the sidelines, the game got off to a scrappy start with either side finding it difficult to keep hold of possession.
Michael Bradley's dogged determination to get in the face of the Crew midfield helped break up play and try to start an attack numerous times against a Crew side that had changed to a back 3 with wing backs.
The best of the early chances went to the away side though as TFC left back Justin Morrow was caught so high up the field, the Crew were allowed to surge forward with Kamara feeding Meram perfectly before Michael Bradley slid in to save the day just as the Columbus forward was about to unleash a shot.
A contentious decision from the officials claimed that the Crew's Josh Williams hauled TFC's Moor down in the box as a corner was taken and a penalty was given. Upon replay, it seems Moor also had a hold of Williams' shirt just seconds before. The resulting spot kick was missed by Vazquez, an unlikely taker with both Giovinco and Altidore on the pitch.
The first half ended with Columbus having flashes in front of goal but the two sides went in level at the break.
With the two teams failing to find the net now in 3 of the halves in this 2 legged tie, they both knew they would have to find the net if this match was to end inside 90 minutes.
Both pushed forward but it was to be Toronto that would make a breakthrough. On 60 minutes, Sebastian Giovinco's clever back heel flick found Altidore who played an effective one-two pass with Vazquez and beautifully side-footed the return pass across goal and into the far side of the net.
With the away goals rule in force, Columbus still only needed one goal to win the tie and as desperation became more and more apparent, they just could not make it happen. As the ball flashed across the box with just minutes to play and Ola Kamara failed to sort his feet out to tap it home, you felt Toronto had done just enough.
Toronto FC will now host the MLS Cup Final at BMO Field against the winner of Seattle Sounders V Houston Dynamo. Seattle lead 2-0 on aggregate but Houston will only need to score once to make it 2-2.
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