for this game

Thomas, Columbus keep pace in playoff race, edge Toronto

Sep 23, 2007 - 12:09 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- With time running out, Jacob Thomas and the Columbus Crew vaulted into the playoff picture.

Thomas scored the decisive goal as the Crew posted a 2-1 victory over Toronto FC on Saturday afternoon.

Jason Garey scored the game-tying goal early in the second half for Columbus (7-9-10), which moved into a tie with the Chicago Fire (8-10-7) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the MLS with five matches to play.

"Good win man, that's all I can say," Thomas said. "For us it's important because we need three points to basically put some pressure on Chicago so you knew the win was good for us, good for the team. We've had a lot of ties, where we go down last minute so this right here was a very positive note."

The Fire play D.C. United on Sunday, while the Crew next are in action September 30 against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

With the game knotted at 1-1 in the 82nd minute, Thomas received a quick return pass from Frankie Hejduk on the right side of the field and streaked toward the Chicago goal with a defender hawking him. The forward, who missed the first 13 games of the season due to injury, raced into the goal area and fired a right-footed kick into the left corner of the net to give the Crew the lead.

It was the first goal of the season for Thomas and the third assist for Hejduk.

Columbus, which snapped a seven-game winless streak, improved to 2-0-1 all-time vs. Toronto.

"Today we had a good opportunity, Columbus coach Sigi Schmid said. "We had talked about maybe giving Toronto a goal so maybe that monkey's off its back and we sort of did that really, really early. I told our team they could do that after we were up three or four nothing, but they did it the other way around. Obviously I'm really proud of our team today."

Toronto (5-14-6) entered the contest without a goal in a league-record 13 1/2 hours of play. But it ended the drought early as Miguel Canizalez put home a loose ball inside the goal area in the second minute, finally ending the club's run of futility at 824 minutes.

"I came in at halftime and said I'm worried," Toronto coach Mo Johnston said. "Even though we had the lead, it wasn't going our way. We didn't put our chances away and that was the difference."

However, in the 61st minute, Garey received a pass from Eddie Gaven eight feet from the net and side-footed the ball into the net while unopposed to tie the game.

"We've been working really hard the last couple of games on switching the point of attack and getting crosses in and we got a good early cross in from the right side," Garey said. "Eddie collected it and I just tried to find some space in the box and slide the shot in."

The tally was Garey's first of the season, while Gaven picked up his fifth assist.

Will Hesmer made three saves for the Crew, while Toronto's Kenny Stamatopoulos stopped six shots.

Toronto is winless in its last 12 games (0-8-4).








  • MLS
    COLUMBUS 2
    TORONTO FC 1 FINAL

    Sep 22 5:36 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    COLUMBUS 2
    TORONTO FC 1
    COLUMBUS GOAL: Jacob Thomas in the 83rd minute

    Crew SC vs. Toronto FCSep 22 5:26 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    COLUMBUS 1
    TORONTO FC 1
    COLUMBUS GOAL: Jason Garey in the 66th minute

    Crew SC vs. Toronto FCSep 22 5:04 PM


  • MLS
    COLUMBUS 0
    TORONTO FC 1 HALFTIME

    Sep 22 4:32 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    COLUMBUS 0
    TORONTO FC 1
    TORONTO FC GOAL: Miguel Canizalez in the 2nd minute

    Crew SC vs. Toronto FCSep 22 3:47 PM