The Trillium Cup is no closer to being decided, but Toronto FC can hold their heads up high after a 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew in Ohio. The draw is the sixth time this season that Toronto FC has picked up points on the road.
Jordan Hamilton scored the equaliser in the second half, after Harrison Afful opened the scoring for the Columbus Crew.
Toronto FC spent the majority of the first half in a defensive setup as the Columbus Crew applied pressure. In a 3-5-2 formation, Toronto spent the half behind the ball, trying to make sure they did not concede an early goal. They did that well, but rarely pushed the ball up the field.
The club's rookie pairing of Jordan Hamilton and Mo Babouli, playing as a result of Sebastian Giovinco's absence,
On the other hand, the Columbus Crew had the bulk of possession but only turned it into one real chance which came late in the half. Alex Bono dealt with it well, saving the shot to his left. It was another strong half for the rookie goalkeeper, who has done well since coming in for Clint Irwin.
This meant that a drab affair headed into halftime tied 0-0. The Crew enjoyed 68 per cent possession in the half, but only managed 2 shots on target. Toronto, on the other hand, did not register a shot on target.
The game would be delayed at the half as a weather front moved in earlier than expected at MAPFRE stadium. Thunderstorms in the area caused fans to evacuate the stands, and for the game to be forced to take a longer halftime break than usual.
When the weather had finally blown over, Toronto FC made a half-time substitution, bringing on Tsubasa Endoh for Marky Delgado. Delgado appeared to suffer a small knock towards the end of the first half, which likely had something to do with his removal.
Toronto had the first big chance of the half when Babouli found Endoh in space on the left wing of the pitch. Endoh's well-weighted cross found Jonathan Osorio in the box, but the Canadian's shot left something to be desired as he put it wide.
Shortly thereafter, the Crew found a goal. The aftermath of a corner kick saw the ball find its way to Afful at the edge of the Toronto FC box. Afful's volley went through the legs of Ola Kamara and into the back of the net to put the Crew up 1-0.
Looking to change things after the goal, Greg Vanney made a pair of substitutions, bringing off Mark Bloom for Nick Hagglund and Jay Chapman for Justin Morrow.
The switch of tactics had a quick impact, as Chapman found a gap in the Columbus Crew backline and slid the ball through to Hamilton. The young striker continued his impressive run of form, scoring his third MLS goal and tying the match up 1-1.
The teams traded chances after that, as both Steve Clark and Bono were forced to make some big saves, but neither club could find the back of the net, and claim the two other points on the board.
The draw will mean no change in the standings for Toronto FC, but regardless was a big away point in the tight Eastern Conference standings. Toronto will be looking for all three points on Saturday, when they travel to San Jose to take on the Earthquakes.