Injury-stricken Crew plays to draw with Toronto FCSep 14, 2008 - 12:20 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- The Columbus Crew learned the hard way that life without Guillermo Barros Schelotto can be difficult.
The Crew sputtered on the offensive end in the absence of their injured star midfielder, but Pat Noonan's goal in the 40th minute helped them clinch their first Trillium Cup by salvaging a 1-1 tie against Toronto FC on Saturday.
"Being able to come back from being down a goal I thought was a positive; I was very proud of that," Columbus coach Sigi Schmid said. "I was disappointed, although, in a way because I thought we created some other chances and I thought we had the run of play at times and we should have done a little better with out chances."
Trailing, 1-0, Columbus (13-6-5) got a game-tying goal to the upper left corner by Noonan, which extended Toronto's winless streak to five games (0-3-2).
"It was a very good result especially you know the way the game started, they get on the board early, and it's a tough place to play with the crowd," Noonan said. "They play well at home, obviously you want to win the game but we're happy with the point."
Carl Robinson had given Toronto (7-11-6) a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute, unleashing a right-footed shot from the left side past goalkeeper Will Hesmer.
"I thought he could roll this to me, he went to put his head down and he looked straight at me, and I thought, well, he's going to play it," Robinson said. "And you know what, my shooting's been terrible this year. I thought I'm going to hit one on target, so I just made sure I kept my head down and hit the target and fortunately enough, it went in."
Schelotto, who is battling a hamstring injury, led the Crew to a four-game winning streak that had placed them atop the Eastern Conference entering the contest.
The Argentine had a hand in 10 of his team's 11 goals - two goals and eight assists - during that streak, and his 18 assists lead the league.
The Crew outscored opponents, 11-2, during the run, punctuated by a resounding 4-0 victory over the second-place New England Revolution last Saturday.
Toronto was denied its first victory over Columbus. Since joining MLS last season, the Crew is 3-0-3 in six meetings against the Canadian contingent.
"I think we've laid down a bench mark," Toronto FC coach John Carver said. "I've looked at the stats and the stats are very, very close. I think that told me that when I can get everybody together... I think we put down a bench mark on what we can actually achieve."
The clubs played to a scoreless tie in Toronto in their most recent matchup on May 17.
"I have to pay compliments to (Schmid's) side; he's done a fantastic job there," Carver said. "He's got them well-organized, he's got some good players on his team. His main threat was out today, but he's done a great job and they've got a great opportunity to go and maybe win this competition."
TORONTO FC 1 FINAL
Sep 13 5:36 PM
TORONTO FC 1 HALFTIME
Sep 13 4:33 PM
- MLS UPDATE
TORONTO FC 1
COLUMBUS GOAL: Pat Noonan in the 40th minute
Crew SC 1, Toronto FC 1 1st - 40'Sep 13 4:26 PM
- MLS UPDATE
TORONTO FC 1
TORONTO FC GOAL: Carl Robinson in the 6th minute
Crew SC 0, Toronto FC 1 1st - 6'Sep 13 3:52 PM
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