We are no closer to finding out who will lift the 2016 Trillium Cup. Toronto FC and the Columbus Crew battled to a 0-0 draw at BMO Field this afternoon. It was the third straight game that TFC has dropped points at home.
Both Clint Irwin and Steve Clark did a good job of preserving their clean sheets, but the story of the day for both sides was missed opportunities.
Neither Toronto FC nor the Columbus Crew could find a breakthrough in the opening half. Toronto FC had the better share of chances, but failed to convert them in front of goal.
Toronto's best chance came when Mo Babouli knocked down a Clark goal kick and headed the ball to Sebastian Giovinco in the box. The Italian's volley, however, went wide of the net.
Babouli was the club's most likely player in the opening half, as he created several chances for himself and his teammates. Again, however, the finished product was not there, and the teams headed into halftime tied 0-0.
The second half opened up in worrying fashion for Toronto, as they conceded some solid chances early. Justin Meram hit the post in the first few minutes of the half, and rebound forced a block out of Josh Williams. Toronto survived, however, and looked to press the issue as the half wore on.
Looking to add offence, Toronto made a trio of substitutions, bringing of Tsubasa Endoh, Jonathan Osorio and Dan Lovitz. It was Babouli and Giovinco who again created the bulk of offense, however. The young Canadian played Giovinco in behind the defence with a brilliant ball midway through the half, but the Italian put it wide.
Giovinco was again given a partial breakaway in the last ten minutes of the match when Steven Beitashour's ball found him down the left wing. Clark had his number this time, however, as the Columbus goalkeeper made a brilliant diving save.
It was all Toronto could muster as they were left to regret a number of missed opportunities, an increasingly relevant theme this season. It is certainly a concerning trend, as it has already cost the team a number of points this season.
The draw means Toronto has collected just five points from a four-game homestand. It's a disappointing total, especially after collecting an impressive 11 points from their first eight road games. The loss opens the possibility of Toronto FC dropping out of a playoff spot by the end of the weekend, should both DC United and the New England Revolution win.