April 23, 2011 MLS--Trillium Cup Tied (from TorontoFC.ca)

Trillium Cup Tied
Asif Hossain 
BMO Field 
Toronto, ON - April 23, 2011 

Defining Moment

A goal and a red card may be a dubious double, but that's exactly what Tony Tchani experienced on Saturday at BMO Field as Toronto FC drew visiting 
Columbus Crew 1-1. 

Tchani had put Toronto up 1-0 after Julian de Guzman floated a perfectly weighted ball over a Columbus defender and on to the path of his 
midfield partner. Tchani hit the ball with his left foot on a single bounce, slotting it past Will Hesmer and breaking 415 minutes of clean sheet 
football for the Crew. Tchani then leapt over the advertisement boards to celebrate - similar to what Alan Gordon had done here - earning his second 
caution and an ejection during a whirlwind 42nd minute. It's worth noting that Gordon didn't receive a card for his celebration back on April 9. 

Tchani had received his first yellow card five minutes earlier for participating in an altercation that ensued when Columbus' Kevin Burns chopped down 
Danleigh Borman, resulting only in a caution for the Crew midfielder. 

Pitch Battles

10-man Toronto couldn't cope early in the second half when Columbus equalized from Emilio Renteria four minutes after restart. The draw kept their 
all-time undefeated record against the Reds in tact through 12 games. In September the return leg in Columbus will settle the 2011 Trillium Cup.

That goal erased what was otherwise a very strong start for Toronto. The Reds found a cure for their early game woes and controlled the run of play from 
the first whistle with 54% first half possession leading up to the Tchani ejection. Alan Gordon returned for the Reds and was an influential target man. 
Another regular, Ty Harden was serving his suspension so Toronto started a new centre back pairing with Dicoy Williams playing alongside Adrian Cann. 
Aside from a first half blunder in which Robbie Rogers nearly nicked in a goal for Columbus, Williams fared well with a team high eight clearances. 

Man of the Match

Reds midfielder de Guzman has long been touted as a catalyst in head coach Aron Winter's 4-3-3 system and on Saturday he showed why. The former La Liga 
standout had 65 touches - the most for any Toronto midfielder - completed 79% of his passes and assisted on the Reds' lone goal. 

Up until his ejection, Tchani was in the running for MOTM. Without him in the second half Toronto was hanging on shorthanded but weren't shy to attack, 
particularly with the addition of speedsters Mikael Yourassowsky and Joao Plata. The latter player in particular had a pair of electric runs from deep 
in his own half, unafraid to take on groups of Columbus defenders. Former Toronto centre back Julius James was frustrated by the trickery of Plata and 
fouled the Ecuadorian at the 80th minute to pick up a yellow card. 

Starting XI

Toronto FC (4-3-3) - Stefan Frei; Danleigh Borman, Dicoy Williams, Adrian Cann, Dan Gargan; Tony Tchani, Maicon Santos (Joao Plata 77'), 
Julian de Guzman; Javier Martina (Richard Eckersley 63'), Alan Gordon (Mikael Yourassowsky 46'), Jacob Peterson 
... Subs Not Used: Oscar Cordon, Nick Soolsma, Nathan Sturgis, Milos Kocic 
... Goals: Tchani 42' 
... Caution: Tchani 37' 42' 
... Ejection: Tchani 42' 

Columbus Crew (4-4-2) - William Hesmer; Rich Balchan, Julius James, Chad Marshall, Sebastian Miranda; Robbie Rogers, Emmanuel Ekpo 
(Tommy Heinemann 46'), Kevin Burns (Dejan Rusmir 63'), Dilly Duka; Emilio Renteria (Andres Mendoza 74'), Eddie Gaven 
... Subs Not Used: Jeff Cunningham, Andy Iro, Korey Veeder, Andy Gruenebaum 
... Goals: Renteria 49' 
... Caution: Burns 37' Ekpo 39' James 80' Rusmir 90'

Following Fixture

NCC Semifinal 1st Leg
Wednesday, April 27
8:00 p.m. ET
Rogers Sportsnet

Toronto travels to Edmonton this week for the second of seven matches in the next three weeks. The Reds are the two time defending Nutrilite Canadian 
Champions but this year with the addition of a fourth team the format has switched from the familiar round robin to a two-leg knockout competition. 
Toronto will play the return leg of this contest on May 4 at BMO Field. 

Preki Post Game

Toronto may have found a solution to their slow starts but weren't able to play a complete match due to the Tchani ejection. Winter admitted in the 
postgame press conference that Tchani's action on the goal celebration was "stupid" knowing he was on a yellow, but did not agree that his player 
deserved the first caution issued by referee David Gantar, when Burns' foul on Borman might have demanded a stronger action.

Playing a man down for 48 minutes, Toronto's first half possession advantage disappeared and Columbus enjoyed more of the ball at 60%. The Crew took 
16 attempts on goal to Toronto's seven - though only three shots from Columbus were on target. The Crew boast the stingiest defence in MLS and they 
protected their keeper with five blocks (to Toronto's one) in this match. With the extra space on the pitch Columbus managed to complete 84% of their 
passes to 72% for the Reds. 

In Their Words

"It is a pity that we gave away the game, because we started very well, and then in the end when you have 10 players it is going to be very difficult 
because Columbus has a good team ... after last week how we started, compared to now, it was a very good start.  Not only the start, but the way we played 
the first half, it was very good because we were dominating the game at that time.  In the second half we made some changes because we have a very hard 
period in the coming weeks." - Toronto head coach Aron Winter

"(Winter) was mad, he thought (my celebration) was stupid, but I didn’t think it was stupid because I have seen games before that (players go into 
the crowd) all the time.  I thought that for my first goal I had to give that to the fans ... On the first (yellow card) it wasn’t me, I didn’t push 
the guy it was my teammate." - Toronto midfielder Tony Tchani
"You know, to say the least I thought we did quite well as a unit (with a man down).  We clustered the middle, forcing them to the flanks a lot.  It was 
difficult because we just sat in and couldn’t create much, other than a few counter attacks.  I thought the new guys that came on did very well, and 
I’m happy that we played as a unit." - Toronto defender Adrian Cann

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