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Columbus wins MLS Opener and Toronto Scoring Woes Continue

The first goal of the 2008 MLS season was scored by Adam Moffat of the Columbus Crew in their 2-0 win over Toronto FC. Columbus’ Brian Carroll sent a long cross to Moffat who chested the ball down and immediately sent a scorching shot on net that beat Brain Edwards giving the Crew a 1-0 lead in the 26th minute.

Moffat said after the game about only his second career goal for the Crew, “It’s a great feeling. Anytime I score it’s a surprise to myself, really. So it was good.”

Alejandro Moreno gave the Crew a 2-0 lead in the 76th minute getting a pass from Eddie Gaven and finding the twine inside the right post. Moreno stated about the goal, “I just held on my run as long as I could. Eddie played a great ball through with the right location, the right speed.”

Moffat almost scored in the 35th minute when his shot hit the crossbar from right outside the 6-yard box. Toronto had their best chance to score right before half in the 44th minute when Toronto forward Jeff Cunningham was knocked down in the penalty box, which awarded a penalty shot to Toronto FC. Collin Samuel took the penalty for Toronto but Crew goalie Will Hesmer blocked the shot and then Moffat cleared the ball. Hesmer stated after the game, “I put it right back in the middle. I honestly thought that Samuel was going to tap it right back in, but Moffat came out of nowhere and banged it out of there.”

It was the debut of Toronto head coach John Carver and he second-guessed his decision to let Samuel take the penalty shot. “I asked the guys at halftime, if we have another penalty, who’ll take it, and [Cunningham] said ‘I’ll take it. So we’ll work our way through the team.”

In the 52nd minute Toronto had another chance to get on the scoreboard on a corner kick, when Hesmer could not hold onto a shot from Jim Brennan. As the ball was nearing the line Robbie Rodgers cleared the ball, but many Toronto players though the ball had crossed the line and they voiced their opinion, but the ref didn’t agree, as the score remained 1-0 Columbus.

The game ended with the 2-0 score. Crew captain Frankie Hejduk and Toronto’s Maurice Edu both received yellow cards in the game for rough takedowns.

The opener was not a positive one for Toronto going scoreless, after last year’s record setting scoring drought. Toronto made several changes with their club in the off season in order to be more offensive but it did not show in their opening game. Even though they lost many fans from North of the border filled the stands in Columbus, giving the away team a solid fan base for the game.