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Recap and Highlights: Richie Laryea stars as Toronto FC beat Columbus

Three screamers and a statement win for Toronto FC who take down the MLS leaders on Sunday night.

Toronto FC v New York City FC: Knockout Round - MLS Is Back Tournament
Richie Laryea #22 of Toronto FC controls the ball
Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

Richie Laryea played one of his best games in a Toronto FC shirt on Sunday night, as a goal and two assists contributed to a 3-1 win over the Columbus Crew.

Columbus had the first good chance to score in the 22nd minute. After a brilliant chip over the backline, Gyasi Zardes took a touch before taking a shot on goal. Quentin Westberg made a great save to keep it out, however, keeping the game scoreless.

Columbus took the lead in the 40th minute because of a Chris Mavinga own goal. He was unable to clear the ball, instead volleying it past Quentin Westberg to give the Crew a 1-0 advantage, which is how the first half would end.

Jozy Altidore tied it up a few minutes after the break, firing home a brilliant shot from outside the penalty area for his second of the season. After Altidore’s goal (and the ones that followed), Brass Bonanza, the former goal song for the Hartford Whalers, blared around the empty stadium, a brilliant nod to local sports history.

Toronto FC would take the lead in the 58th minute thanks to a goal from Alejandro Pozuelo from similar range. Laryea, who assisted Altidore’s goal, picked out Pozuelo this time, whose long shot found the same part of the net as Altidore’s.

With the strike, Pozuelo becomes the 6th player in Toronto FC history to score 20+ goals.

Not content with the two assists, Laryea decided to score a goal of his own. He made the defenders look silly, dribbling around the entire team before firing a rocket across the goal, doubling the lead.

It capped off a superb game for the young right back, who is surely in the conversation to start at the position for Canada, if John Herdman hasn’t already penciled him in.

The Reds closed the gap atop the Eastern Conference table with the win, moving up to 28 points, two back of the Crew, and behind the Philadelphia Union on goal difference.

Up next for Toronto FC is a match against the Philadelphia Union at this same stadium. The Reds will head back to Toronto for a few days before returning to Hartford to prepare for that one.