TFC give up late equalizer in last home game
It was a goal that pretty much summed up the season for Toronto FC.
Columbus' William Hesmer became only the second 'keeper in MLS history to score when deposited a goal during second-half stoppage time to give the Crew a 2-2 draw with Toronto FC on Saturday.
The goal came off a scramble after a Columbus corner kick with Hesmer brought up to the Toronto FC penalty area in an all-out effort to gain a point.
"I've seen in happen before back in England but I'm speechless," Toronto FC interim head coach Nick Dasovic said.
He is the first goalkeeper to score in an MLS match since New York's Danny Cepero did it against the Crew in 2008.
"I've never gone into the box before, it's my first time ever," said Hesmer, who shot it past his counterpart Milos Kocic to stun the crowd of 18,084 at BMO Field.
"You don't see that happen very often," said Toronto midfielder Jacob Peterson who scored in the 38th minute to give Toronto the lead. "I thought we should have come out of the game with three points."
Somehow it was a fitting end to the Major League Soccer home schedule for Toronto FC, another possible win lost on a late goal allowed.
Saturday marked the final MLS home game of the season for the Reds. Many of their supporters gave the team the silent treatment in protest of increases to ticket prices and the club's failure to reach the playoffs for the fourth straight year since entering the league.
There was some booing at the end of the game.
They had watched their team overcome Chad Marshall`s 15th-minute goal to take a 2-1 lead into the second half on goals by Maicon Santos in the 29th minute and Peterson on a nice cross from 18-year-old Nicholas Lindsay, making his first MLS start.
Each team played with 10 men after red cards were given in the 72nd minute to Steven Lenhart of Columbus and Toronto goalkeeper Jon Conway after a skirmish around the TFC goal. Lenhart crashed into Conway on a ball in front of goal and Conway shoved back.
As the teams prepared for the corner, Hesmer gave a look to the bench.
"I was standing at the midfield line because we'd pushed everybody into the box," Hesmer said. "I looked over at the bench and gave them the 'should I go?' look and I think everybody was yelling `no.' I saw one finger pointing go and that was my permission, I felt."
The one finger pointing toward the Toronto goal was assistant coach Ricardo Iribarren.
On the corner, Marshall headed the ball down. It came to Hesmer who trapped it and shot it home for his first goal as a professional.
"He headed it to me and then I trapped it, I brought it down right underneath me," Hesmer said. "I saw I had some time, I saw a little alley."
It meant that Toronto still has never beaten Columbus in 11 matches —five losses and six draws.
The Crew's first goal came from a corner as well, this one by Guillermo Barros Schelotto. Marshall's header hit the bar and then Conway, who was making his first start for TFC in an MLS game.
"The ball will never drop for us and it dropped for them twice," Dasovic said. "The first goal hit our goalkeeper on the back and went in, and then their goalie scored the second goal."
Toronto came back with a goal on a solo effort and an impressive shot from long range by Santos in the 29th minute.
Santos was at it again a minute later but this time his shot was just wide to the left of goal.
TFC took a 2-1 lead on Peterson's goal from inside the six-yard box. He knocked home a pass from the left wing from Lindsay. Nick LaBrocca also got an assist.
"I was happy with everything about the performance today," Dasovic said. "The Toronto public wants to see passion, and that hasn't always been there. It has been there on-and-off but everybody stuck to the game plan and they worked hard. I'm not happy about guys getting sent off, but I'm happy that they stood up for each other."
Toronto took six shots to five by Columbus in the first half and had a 3-1 edge in shots on target. But Columbus had a 7-3 edge in the second half with three on target to Toronto's one.
Some groups of supporters stayed silent for the game instead of singing and chanting while others wore green instead of the usual TFC red.
There were signs like the ones in the south end of the stadium that read "All For Money" and "Actions Not Words."