Columbus Crew SC 1, Toronto FC 1 | 2016 MLS Match Recap
Columbus Crew SC dominated Toronto FC over most of the 90 minutes at MAPFRE Stadium on Wednesday, taking 10 shots (six on target), connecting 579 passes at a 86 percent accuracy rate and owning more than 66 percent of possession (and near 70 possession in the first half).
And it got them exactly one point.
Over more than an hour of one-sided play, Crew SC routinely charged into the attacking third only to fritter away their buildup play with poor crossing and misfiring finishes. That opened the door for a plucky response from a young, outnumbered and outgunned TFC side, earning an impressive road draw via a well-crafted goal by Homegrown striker Jordan Hamilton, canceling out Harrison Afful's opener and deepening the gloom around struggling Crew SC.
TFC dressed just 16 players for this midweek hopscotch over the Great Lakes, leaving Sebastian Giovinco at home to rest ahead of their trip to San Jose this weekend, and the skeleton crew got even smaller when Marky Delgado limped off and did not return at the halfway point.
But the insertion of Tsubasa Endoh and Jay Chapman turned the tide, drawing Toronto level and leaving Columbus hanging on for dear life at the end after such a bright start. Depending on the evening's result in Chicago, they may well find themselves in last place in the Eastern Conference by week's end.
- 54’ – CLB – Harrison Afful
- 64’ – TOR – Jordan Hamilton (Jay Chapman, Benoit Cheyrou)
- Full box score
- Watch highlights
1. GO TORONTOTS GO: Credit to MLSsoccer.com's own Alicia Rodriguez for coining this nickname for TFC's emergency youth movement; the efforts of Endoh, Chapman, Hamilton, Mo Babouli and young goalkeeper Alex Bono in Columbus certainly justified a hashtag-friendly honorific. They were resilient, fearless and composed in the face of Crew SC's "death by 1,000 passes" approach, pulling even and then nearly winning a game in which their team had looked overmatched.
Get in Jordan Hamilton sooooon! Young guns upfront playing with no fear. Love it! #TFCLive— Terry Dunfield (@terry_dunfield) July 14, 2016
2. CREW SC CRESTFALLEN: They maintain an admirable commitment to their pass-and-move philosophy, even with a litany of injury absences and just one win in two-and-a-half months. But Columbus just weren't very precise around the opposition's penalty area in this one and it starved their main attacking weapon, striker Ola Kamara, of service (see his OPTA charts here). The Norwegian took just three shots and played 11 passes in all. Is a Plan B overdue in Central Ohio?
Huge, huge disappointment from #CrewSC here. A draw at home against an Eastern Conference team without its best three players.— Andrew King (@AndrewKingMLS) July 14, 2016
3. DUKA AT THE 10 SPOT: Dilly Duka made his first start since rejoining Columbus last month, coach Greg Berhalter giving him a try at the central playmaking role vacated by the injured Federico Higuain. Duka was composed and clean in possession and made a few incisive passes around the box, but his usage rates over his 67 minutes weren't at a level to match Higuain's influential contributions. Will he get another look vs. D.C. this weekend?