Toronto FC came from behind twice before winning the game in stoppage time as they beat Columbus Crew 3-2 to win the 2014 Trillium Cup clash between the sides. Here are our key takeaways from the game:
1. Where would Toronto be without Defoe?
The 31-year-old scored his second brace since moving to the Reds, and has now scored six goals in seven appearances. He twice brought Toronto back into the game with a penalty and then a wonderful strike ten minutes from time. With the former-Spurs man not heading to the World Cup, Toronto have climbed the table and will be looking up further in weeks to come.
2. Columbus were too open.
Prior to the game, much of the concern for the Crew was that Federico Higuain was absent and there were questions about where the goals would come from. They responded by scoring two, but the real problems came in defence as they were far too open for much of the game. Tyson Wahl gave the penalty away for a tug on Defoe, and the marking assignments on Doneil Henry were terrible in the dying minutes as the powerful centre-back powered home his header.
3. Doneil Henry is unstoppable.
We spoke about how dominant and powerful the 21-year-old is after their Canadian Championship game on Wednesday, and the Canadian defender put in another remarkable display on Saturday night to help his side get the win. He should have done better in the air against Agustin Viana who put in the Crew’s second goal, but he responded in the best possible way with his late header. He wanted the ball more than anyone in the box, and made sure that he connected with Dan Lovitz’ corner to win the game for his side. The goal meant a lot to the Toronto-born defender as his passionate celebrations showed.
4. Toronto making a charge.
The Reds have now taken seven points from their past three games, and have turned their form around. They had lost three in a row prior to that but can now start looking further up the table after moving ahead of Columbus into eight. They host San Jose next and will want make that their third home win on the bounce.
5. Columbus are desperately unlucky.
The Crew battled well throughout and will be devastated to have left with nothing. They got their first win in eight last weekend and looked like adding another as they lead the game twice last night. Though the late fightback from Toronto means Columbus have now five games this season. They host Real Salt Lake next and will have the tough task of winning that one.