Tosaint Ricketts rose from the bench to snatch an unlikely road triumph for Toronto FC in Ohio on Wednesday night, scoring two late goals to stun Columbus Crew SC with a 2-1 comeback victory at MAPFRE Stadium that extends the Reds' winning streak to a club-record five matches.
Federico Higuain netted an early penalty kick, with a stylish Panenka no less, to give the hosts a lead. And at the other end, goalkeeper Zack Steffen saved Jozy Altidore's spot kick to put Crew SC on course for a useful win.
But TFC coach Greg Vanney made several moves to keep his side in contention and the insertion of Ricketts proved the most decisive as the Canadian international struck twice, the second of which arrived in the final minute of regulation time, to keep Toronto atop the MLS standings.
- 28' – CLB – Federico Higuain (PK) Watch
- 81' – TOR – Tosaint Ricketts Watch
- 90' – TOR – Tosaint Ricketts Watch
- ADJUSTMENTS: With his team playing their third match in eight days, and Sebastian Giovinco left at home due to a heel injury, Vanney might've overthought his lineup in this one. He tried out a 3-6-1/5-4-1 look that just didn't come off, as shown by Crew SC's superiority in the first half. But to his credit, TFC's boss didn't wait to shift things around, making an early sub to get Ricketts on and shift the team's shape to good effect.
- STEFFEN STEPS UP: While Columbus' nagging defensive questions will clearly linger after this one, Steffen has carried his weight, steadily growing into the starting 'keeper job over the season's first two months. His PK denial of Altidore was a clutch play that deserved a better response from his teammates.
- TOO MANY WEAPONS: TFC's depth has been celebrated of late and it showed again here. Ricketts has been a peripheral figure this year, but was more than ready when called upon. Benoit Cheyrou made a decisive impact in the engine room. And offseason acquisition Victor Vazquez has quietly climbed to the top of the MLS assists charts with 8 helpers, two of them game-winning. These Reds can beat you in so many ways.