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Columbus blanks Toronto to open MLS season

Mar 30, 2008 - 1:48 AM COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- Adam Moffat and Alejandro Moreno each scored a goal and the Columbus Crew opened the 2008 MLS season with a 2-0 victory over Toronto FC on Saturday.

Moffat scored in the 26th minute to give the Crew a 1-0 lead at the half. Moreno, who led the team with seven goals last season, added his first tally of the year in the 76th minute.

"Obviously we are happy with three points at home," Columbus coach Sigi Schmid said. "The biggest thing for our team and we are still a young team is getting our confidence. I thought Adam Moffat did a good job, that's why we have him in there and Alejandro finished his goal really well on the counter attack and that's the way you finish off teams."

After a Toronto foul, the Crew had a quick restart and midfielder Brian Carroll served the ball from the mid third to Moffat on the right side of the field. Moffat took the pass and fired a shot from about 30 yards out and beat Toronto goalkeeper Brian Edwards just inside the left post.

"It was a good pass and I had the space, Moffat said. "I just dribbled the ball and take the shot and it went in and it felt great."

Moreno doubled the Columbus advantage by outracing a pair of Toronto defenders to catch up with a nice through ball from Eddie Gaven. Moreno gathered the ball and took it into the box, eventually beating a sprawling Edwards to the far post.

"I am going to do whatever this team needs me to do to get a win," Moreno said. "Today it was my turn to score and a total team effort where Will came up with a big save on the penalty kick and Adam hit a great shot, we are very happy with the win."

Toronto had its chances but failed to convert. Columbus goalkeeper Will Hesmer stopped Collin Samuel on a penalty kick late in the first half and Crew midfielder Robbie Rogers cleared a ball off the line early in the second to keep Columbus in front, 1-0.

"We came up with big plays at key times," Schmid said. "Will's save on the penalty kick, Rogers saving the ball off the line. Those are big plays for us, and that's what you need to do."

Toronto's best chance came in the 44th minute when Jeff Cunningham was fouled by Danny O'Rourke and referee Baldomero Toledo awarded a penalty kick. Hesmer knocked Samuel's shot straight up in front of the goal and Moffat came in to clear the rebound.

"We had about 13 or 14 chances," Toronto FC coach John Carver said. "The only thing is I don't think we made their goalie work hard enough. I was delighted the way we reacted after the penalty toward the end of halftime. We took the game to them after that and created some really good chances but just couldn't put the ball in the back of the net."

  • MLS

    Mar 29 5:58 PM

    COLUMBUS GOAL: Alejandro Moreno in the 76th minute

    Toronto FC 0, Crew 2  76'Mar 29 5:43 PM

  • MLS

    Mar 29 4:55 PM

    COLUMBUS GOAL: Adam Moffat in the 26th minute

    Toronto FC 0, Crew 1  26'Mar 29 4:36 PM