In Toronto FC’s first game without the ailing Jozy Altidore, the inability to find an outlet on the attacking end doomed the Eastern Conference contender to just one point.
Facing off with the Columbus Crew, TFC settled for a scoreless draw on Saturday at BMO Field. With the result, TFC sits fifth in the Eastern Conference with 15 points through 11 games, while the Crew collect their 10th point from their 10th match.
Much like he has throughout a majority of the season, Sebastian Giovinco shouldered the goalscoring load for TFC. The Italian star fired all eight of TFC’s shots on the afternoon, but only two forced saves from Crew goalkeeper Steve Clark.
On the other end, the Crew proved slightly more dangerous, but just as clinical. Forward Ola Kamara forced a diving save from goalkeeper Clint Irwin to close the first half, while Justin Meram’s chip over the TFC shot-stopper clanged the post early in the second half. Moments later, Irwin made another diving stop to keep out a Meram effort to all but preserve what turned out to be a shutout.
Following the tie, Toronto FC returns to action on Saturday with a visit to the New York Red Bulls, while the Crew host Real Salt Lake that same day.
MAN OF THE MATCH
The Crew registered several chances throughout Saturday’s match, but the play of Clint Irwin in goal that kept the visitors off the board. The TFC goalkeeper provided a pair of fingertip saves among his four stops, leading the way to a home point.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
In what proved to be the only time the Crew could sneak by Clint Irwin, Justin Meram’s chipped effort ran straight into the post to deprive the Crew of what would have been a game-changing goal.
MATCH TO FORGET
Toronto FC will always expect Sebastian Giovinco to carry the load, but the Italian needs his supporting cast to step up alongside him. The rest of the TFC attack failed to register a single shot, an inexcusable statistic for a team expecting to be among the league’s best.