Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By JUSTIN FERGUSON
Over the past two seasons, Toronto FC have given up late goals time and time again, watching valuable points slip from their grasp at the very end.
But on Saturday, BMO Field and its hosts got to enjoy being on the other side of a late comeback.
Substitution Andrew Wiedeman delivered a sliding stoppage-time winner as Toronto FC defeated the Columbus Crew 2-1 in the second leg of this year’s Trillium Cup. Jonathan Osorio sparked the comeback in the 87th minute with a goal that erased the lead from Dominic Oduro’s first-half strike.
The win brought an end to Toronto’s six-match winless skid and was the team’s first home league victory since July 18, 2012.
After falling to New England 2-0 last week on a pair of stoppage-time goals, the Crew got off to a good start on Saturday afternoon. The return of striker Jairo Arrieta to the starting lineup moved leading goalscorer Oduro back to the right wing, but the Ghanaian still found a way to score.
In the 17th minute, Oduro got on the end of a long ball from midfielder Matias Sanchez and rifled a long shot from a tight angle onto Joe Bednik’s goal. The low effort from Oduro somehow beat the Toronto goalkeeper at the near post, and Columbus celebrated its early lead.
Both sides struggled to generate quality chances on goal for most of the 90 minutes, and the match appeared to be headed to another 1-0 victory for the Crew, who also won off an Oduro goal in the two sides’ first meeting of the season.
The substitution of new signing Alvaro Rey helped provide a spark for the TFC offense in the final 15 minutes. Minutes after the Spanish winger’s first MLS shot sailed wide, the hosts found an equalizer.
Bobby Convey played a pass to Jeremy Brockie, who tapped it into the path of Osorio. The Toronto native finished the play off with a nice finish past Andy Gruenebaum and received a yellow card for taking off his jersey in celebration.
TFC came close to the winner before the four minutes of stoppage time were added. Steven Caldwell’s 90th-minute header struck the woodwork as a torrential downpour came down on BMO Field.
But the hosts would get their much-needed goal on one of the final touches of the match. Convey hit a cross into the box for Wiedeman, who came on early in the second half. The California native’s sliding touch on the cross found its way past Gruenebaum for the winning goal.
TFC (3-10-8) will try to create their first winning streak of the season when they travel to Colorado a week from Sunday. The Crew (6-10-5) visit Houston next Saturday.
Here are the match highlights: