Toronto FC leapfrog Columbus Crew in MLS
Doneil Henry’s header in second half stoppage-time capped off Toronto’s late surge to win 3-2 over Columbus Crew, while the Seattle Sounders won their fifth consecutive MLS home match, thrashing Real Salt Lake 4-0 in a top-of-the-conference clash.
In Toronto, the home side trailed 2-1 with less than 10 minutes remaining regulation time but Jermain Defoe dragged the hosts level with his second goal of the game before Henry powered a header past Columbus goalkeeper Steve Clark in the 92nd minute to steal the three points.
The win took Ryan Nelsen’s Toronto above the Crew into fifth in the Eastern Conference standings on games won.
Toronto and Columbus both have 16 points but the former has won five matches from 10 games this season, while the Crew have four victories in 13 MLS fixtures.
The Crew hit the front in the 18th minute in Canada when a flowing move up the field ended at the feet of Justin Meram and the 25-year-old cut inside his marker before curling the ball into the top corner of the net.
But Toronto equalised almost immediately with Tyson Wahl dragging Defoe back in the box and the English veteran converted from the spot, although Clark got a hand to the penalty shot.
Columbus moved ahead again 20 minutes after the break thanks to Agustin Viana’s back-post header from Ben Speas’ corner, only for Defoe to equalise in the 81st minute with a thumping left-foot shot, which saw the former Tottenham striker register his seventh goal for Toronto.
With their home fans cheering them on, Toronto surged in the closing stages and eventually made it six games without defeat in all competitions when local-boy Henry headed Daniel Lovitz’s free-kick into the net.
In Seattle, a penalty from Gonzalo Pineda three minutes before the break got the Sounders going against Real, before Marco Pappa curled a brilliant free-kick into the net in the 55th minute.
Chad Barrett made it 3-0 for Seattle just after the hour mark when he got on the end of a counter-attack, while Obafemi Martins wrapped up the Sounders’ victory with a close-range finish in stoppage time.
The Sounders moved to 29 points at the top of the Western Conference standings, five clear of second-placed Real.
Montreal Impact, who are bottom of the East, stunned their conference leaders New England Revolution 3-0, while Conor Casey scored twice in Philadelphia Union’s comfortable 3-0 win over Chivas USA.
In other results, DC United stretched Sporting Kansas City’s winless run to five games with a 1-0 triumph to move above the reigning champions into second in the Eastern Conference, while San Jose Earthquakes defeated FC Dallas 2-1.
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