Knotted up for a Knockout: Columbus Crew SC, Toronto FC look toward Leg 2

COLUMBUS, Ohio—After a scoreless draw in Columbus on Tuesday, neither Columbus Crew SC nor Toronto FC came away with an ideal result. But heading into the second leg of the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Championship, both clubs are confident they can capture a needed result.

For Toronto, holding Columbus to the scoreless draw at MAPFRE Stadium means they simply need to win a home game.

“0-0 is not a perfect result – we’d like to get a road goal,” said head coach Greg Vanney. “But at the end of the day, we have to go back to Toronto and win the game. We’ll be at home in front of our fans in our stadium and we’ll play to win the game.”

Meanwhile, Columbus managed to keep a clean sheet at home, meaning a score in Toronto makes the situation much more difficult for the home team due to the away goal tiebreaker.

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Berhalter acknowledged the scoreless draw was among Crew SC's target results for the match. Now, he said, his team can go to Toronto with “the intention to score and be aggressive.”

Goalkeeper Zack Steffen said the Columbus locker room felt fine about the result. And after playing an intense Knockout Round match against Atlanta United on the road, Steffen said they’ll be ready for the challenge.

“It’s not the end of the world,” he said. “We’ll go up there 0-0, and it’s another knockout game.”

For Toronto’s Jonathan Osorio, needing a win at the friendly confines of BMO Field gives Toronto all the confidence they need.

“Any time in a two-leg series when you start off away and bring home a 0-0 result, it's in our favor,” he said. “We've played well at home all season. We're confident that we can win.”

But ultimately, both teams still have everything to play for.

“We know we’ve got work to do, but it’s just halftime,” said Columbus defender Josh Williams said. “We’ve got another 90. It will be tough, but we’ve gone on the road and got a result before. We’ll be ready.”