Recap: All-business Crew spoil Preki's TFC debut
A first-half goal from Andy Iro would’ve been enough for the
Columbus Crew on Saturday afternoon. But a controversial second-half goal from
Guillermo Barros Schelotto finished things off the home-standing Crew defeated
Toronto FC 2-0 in the season opener for both.
Iro, starting for the injured Chad Marshall, resembled center
back usually starting in front of him he put Columbus up in the 29th minute.
Schelotto’s free kick near the right sideline whipped into the box, where Iro
slipped his marker and headed the ball home from seven yards.
The goal, however, got Toronto going. Just two minutes later,
Martin Saric wheeled and fired a left-footed shot from 20 yards on the right
side of the arc that forced William Hesmer to the ground for the save.
Schelotto, the Crew’s scoring leader last season with 12
goals, almost opened his account this year in the 37th minute when he pounced
on a back pass from Ty Harden. The Argentine pushed the ball the TFC goal but
was unable to get a quality touch before Stefan Frei came off the line to knock
the attempt away.
The Reds, despite being without injured striker Chad Barrett,
continued to press for the equalizer as the second half ticked along. Just
before the break, O’Brian White sent a shot inches wide. White was active all day,
and he went close just after halftime with a box-to-box run. His rising strike
forced Crew keeper Will Hesmer into a fine save, lunging to his left to get his
fingertips on the shot and preserve the lead.
Schelotto then iced the game in the 87th minute. A collision
between Frei and Crew defender Danny O’Rourke on the fringe of the Toronto
penalty area produced a loose ball and an open net. Toronto defender Nick
Garcia tried to clear, but the ball fell to Schelotto, who had the easiest of
shots to ensure the full points for Columbus.
Both Toronto and Columbus have next week off. On April 10, TFC
travel to New England and the Crew are away to FC Dallas.
CLICK HERE for complete highlights.
CLB – Andy Iro 1 (Guillermo Barros Schelotto), 29';
CLB Schelotto 1, 87'.
TFC – Martin Saric (caution, reckless foul), 23rd; TFC—Nena Attakora (caution, recklees foul), 77th: CLB Moffat
(caution, reckless tackle), 92+
TFC: Frei, Attakora, Brennan, Garcia, Harden, Saric (Sanyang,
66th), de Guzman, Cronin, Gala (LaBrocca, 52nd), De Rosario, White
CLB: Hesmer, Hejduk (Padula, 89th), Iro, Brunner, O’Rourke ,
Carroll, Moffat, Rogers, Gaven, Schelotto, Lenhart (Garey, 90+).