Toronto controls pace but ties CrewMay 17, 2008 - 11:54 PM TORONTO (Ticker) -- The Columbus Crew and Toronto FC came into Saturday as two of the hottest teams in the MLS.
After 90 minutes, nothing changed.
William Hesmer made six saves for Columbus and Greg Sutton had two stops for Toronto as the clubs played to a 0-0 tie at BMO Field.
Toronto (3-2-2) ran its unbeaten streak to five games, while Columbus has not lost in its last six contests. The Crew (6-1-1) did have their five-game winning streak come to an end.
The streaks are the two longest active unbeaten runs currently in the league.
"It's just one of those games," Crew coach Sigi Schmid said. "Toronto's playing well, and they're playing well at home. We expected better as always but sometimes with the way the game is, it doesn't come out that way.
"It would be nice to leave here with a win, but at least we're still unbeaten and that is something we can leave with."
Toronto controlled much of the action, outshooting Columbus, 14-7, but could not push a goal past Hesmer. It was the 26-year-old's third shutout of the season and ninth career.
Playing in extremely windy conditions, Toronto had an excellent chance to score in the fifth minute. But Hesmer made the save on Amado Guevara's hard, right-footed shot from 12 yards out.
"Our forwards aren't clicking," Toronto FC coach John Carver said. "Overall we played well, but we still have to put the ball in the back of the net. The guys who are doing the job for us at the moment are doing a good job, but we need better and I think we all know that."
The Crew's best opportunity came in the 25th minute, when leading scorer Robbie Rogers placed a right-footed shot past Sutton, who was caught out of position. But Toronto defender Tyrone Marshall was on the goal line and cleared away the ball, keeping the game scoreless.
In the second half, Toronto again dominated possession and missed a couple of golden opportunities to break the tie.
In the 60th minute, Laurent Robert blasted a shot from the top of the box that hit the right goalpost and bounced away harmlessly.
Rohan Ricketts had an open chance from 18 yards out in the 78th minute, controlling a pass on the left side of the penalty area. But Hesmer was there to smother his left-footed shot.
Toronto captain Jim Brennan stressed that the team will not be discouraged despite not being able to capitalize on its opportunities.
"If anything it will motivate us," Brennan said. "We know what we can do, and now we'll just want to win more. This isn't a step back, instead something to move forward with."
Despite the Crew's excellent start to the season, Carver was not impressed with some of their tactics.
"Look at the way Columbus came out to play," Carver said. "They were diving and sliding all over the place looking for the calls. It goes to show you if the team at the top (of the standings) comes here and plays like that, they know they're here for a game."
Toronto had six corners compared to just three for Columbus, which had to dodge streamers thrown on the field by the crowd during most dead-ball situations near the sidelines.
"Everyone knows it's hard to come out here and play with this crowd," Schmid said. "But we held our own and came out with a point."
Toronto improved to 3-0-1 at home this season and have only allowed one goal at BMO Field so far this year. The shutout was the third of the season and the fourth of Sutton's career.
TORONTO FC 0 FINAL
May 17 6:03 PM
- MLS UPDATE
TORONTO FC 0
COLUMBUS SUBSTITUTION: Nicolas Hernandez for Guillermo Barros Schelotto
in the 90th minut
May 17 6:00 PM
- MLS UPDATE
TORONTO FC 0
COLUMBUS CAUTION: Guillermo Barros Schelotto in the 90th minute
May 17 5:58 PM
TORONTO FC 0 HALFTIME
May 17 4:58 PM
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