Speaking with members of the media following Saturday night’s match, Columbus Crew head coach Wilfried Nancy said he was pleased with the team’s performance and mentality in the 1-1 draw against Toronto FC at BMO Field.
The home side struck first, but the Crew responded with an equalizer and continued seeking a game-winning goal, much to the support of Nancy.
“I’m very proud of my team,” the coach said. “We started well. We conceded a goal that we should’ve done better (with) in terms of positioning, but after that … the players showed a lot of personality in the second half.
“I’m really, really proud of them because they tried to score the goal, but also the second goal and win. They also defended well, and it’s not easy to play against Toronto, as we all know. I’m really happy with what I’ve seen in terms of spirit.”
TFC took the lead in the 24th minute when Deandre Kerr tucked a shot into Eloy Room’s bottom left corner. From that point on, the Crew trailed until the 75th minute, when Jimmy Medranda scored minutes into his Black & Gold debut.
After entering the match in the 73rd minute, Medranda scored two minutes later when Aidan Morris played a lovely ball toward the top of the box, finding the Colombian wing back. Then, Medranda coolly chipped Sean Johnson to equalize the match and become the first Crew player since Cucho Hernández last summer to score in his club debut.
“(The match) was a good reroute for him,” Nancy said of Medranda, who had been injured earlier this season. “He kept going in terms of physically, technically and tactically. This is a good reward for him because he did a really good week. He came in and the run he made was interesting and he had composure to score the goal. Now, he needs to keep pushing.”
The visitors kept pushing to produce a second goal, but had to leave Toronto with a point – a nice result but not what the Crew players wanted.
“I like what I saw from my players after the game,” Nancy said. “They were in the locker room upset and this is a good sign because, yes, we were close to scoring the second goal. We had really good opportunities. Again, I thought we could’ve done better in these situations. That’s why I was happy to see my players reacting like that … a bit of disappointment.”
The Black & Gold now have four points from three matches and will face the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night. Following that match is a return to Lower.com Field on Mar. 25 to host Atlanta United FC. Don’t Miss Out.
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