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Game thread & Preview: Columbus Crew (2-2) Toronto FC - FT

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Crucial points on the line tonight.

MLS: Toronto FC at Columbus Crew SC Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

FT - Late heroics from Jozy Altidore rescues a point for Toronto who stay in a virtual tie on the playoff line with 8 league matches remaining.

90+2’ - Jozy took a knock to his head, and will now have to leave the field because he has been attended to.

90’ - GOAL ALTIDORE - Heads home the equalizer on the stroke of 90:00. Game on (for a couple minutes...)

87’ - Westbergwith a point blank save on Williams to keep the score 2-1

82’ - GOAL COLUMBUS - David Accam the last man on the pitch came streaking down the right side, was bothered by no one and slotted it home far post, off Westberg’s outstretched arm. 10 minutes to kill off for the home team.

80’ - SUB COLUMBUS - Final sub of the match - David Accam is on for Connor Maloney.

79’ - SUB COLUMBUS - Romario Williams in for Luis Diaz

77’ - Toronto FC appear to be out of ideas in the attacking third. Backpassing seems to rule the day.

72’ - SUB TFC their final move is Drew Moor on for Patrick Mullins. Hmmmm.

69’ - A long CBS FK finds it’s way into the TFC box, and Zardes is alone with an empty net. He skies it over the bar on what Caldwell continues to call a sitter. I won’t question him.

68’ - Argudo with a great chance in the box, Westberg makes a save with this boots, and the rebound kisses the crossbar before spilling out for a corner. Inches away from the homeside taking the lead.

66’ - SUB COLUMBUS - Mokhtar’s first start for the Crew has come to an end, and Luis Argudo is on for the final 25 minutes.

65’ - Auro plays safety first, and puts the cross behind the net to give Columbus a corner...

63’ - Osorio decent shot from the top of the box again, but Room had the time to get to the ball, which was destined to kiss in off the post.

That Laryea gem...

59’ - SUB TFC - Marky Delgado on to replace Nick DeLeon.

57’ - Zardes finds himself in the box alone, and choses to head the ball into the turf. On this occasion, gets too much turf and ball bounces just over the woodwork. Columbus have their tails in the air...

50’ - Richie Layrea with a delightful goal-saving challenge at the goal mouth award Columbus a corner kick, and keeps the score level. Wow.

48’ - Pedro Santos with a beautiful first touch on a speculative long ball into the box. Wil Trapp delivers a beautiful ball over Santos’ shoulder, and he slots it far corner for his 9th of the season. All square in Columbus 1-1 (Trapp’s 4th apple of the season, as well)

46’ - SUB for TFC - Layrea subs in for Morrow and it must be for health. We are underway!

HT - Toronto into the break with the 1-0 lead courtesy of the late Osorio long strike. Highlights coming up.

45’ - Two Minutes of added time here in the opening half...

42’- GOAL - OSORIO with his 4th of the year, likes his chances and bends it from well beyond the top of the box, Toronto has found the lead they needed before the break. Jozy Altidore with the assist - his 4th of the season, as well.

36’ - Mokhtar with his second shot in the box, this one very dangerous. Two field goals converted for the man, but the soccer game remains 0-0.

35’ - Mavinga v. Diaz down the right side again, Mavinga keeps the area clean. Columbus corner kick coming...

29’ - Shenanigans in Toronto corner have lead to a Toronto GK.

27’ - TFC naughty in the box, and the play is whistled dead before Bradley’s kick reaches the area.

26’ - Pozuelo off the wall for a TFC corner...

25’ - Jozy earns a FK at the top of the box...

24’ - Columbus have had 2 shots towards net, Mokhtar over the bar and Santos just wide. Westberg still has clean gloves.

23’ - Caldwell thinks this match has lacked intensity thus far, and the man is not wrong!

15’ - Mavinga ushers Diaz and the ball over the touchline to earn Westberg a GK.

15’ - Pozuelo finds DeLeon on the top of the box, but the long pass can’t be handle upon first touch.

6’ - Some speculative cross field passes thus far, but no meaningful time in either box, thus far.

3’ - Toronto has spent the first two minutes on the attack. Positivity heading forward.

1’ - We’re underway here in Columbus. Thanks for joining!

LINEUPS:

Toronto FC will try to finally make some progress in their playoff push tonight as they head to Ohio for a tilt with Columbus Crew SC at MAPFRE Stadium.

The Reds, now ninth in the Eastern Conference but level with Montreal for the final playoff spot at 33 points, desperately need to start banking wins with just nine games left in the MLS regular season.

Pretty much all the teams TFC are trying to catch are also in action tonight, including Montreal, Orlando, New England, and the Red Bulls, so Toronto will at the very least need to keep pace.

This evening’s challenger, Columbus, has had a trying season, with just 26 points. They’ve drawn their last two games, against San Jose and Cincinnati.

The Crew aren’t the most potent attacking team in the league, but they’ve found offence this year from Gyasi Zardes (who ripped TFC apart early last season) and Pedro Santos, with eight and nine goals, respectively.

They’re also a little better defensively than you’d think an 11th-placed team would be (or maybe the teams around them are just much, much worse). Columbus has conceded 39 goals this season, two fewer than TFC and better than four teams ahead of them in the East.

TFC have always had memorable clashes with the Crew, including a match in Columbus last season that will give us nightmares for years (when the Reds blew a 3-0 lead and conceded a 90th-minute penalty for the equalizer).

Team news: injuries & suspensions

Toronto FC: It seems that everyone is pretty much healthy at the moment.

Columbus Crew SC: MLSsoccer.com lists a lot of players. Defenders Milton Valenzuela, Waylon Francis, and Hector Jimenez are out, as are midfielders Federico Higuain (out for the season with an ACL injury) and Ricardo Clark. Listed as questionable are Josh WIlliams and Aboubacar Keita.

How to watch

Match date/time: Saturday, August 17, 7:30 p.m.
TV channel: TSN 4
Live stream: TSN GO, ESPN+
Radio: TSN 1050 (Toronto)