Scoring skid ends

DEAN MCNULTY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:43 AM ET

One streak ended yesterday when Toronto FC finally scored a goal to end 824 minutes of futility.

But club's other streak -- 11 Major League Soccer games and counting without a victory -- continued with a 2-1 loss to Columbus Crew at BMO Field.

Let the record show the record goalless drought was over for TFC at 3:47 p.m.

It came quickly with midfielder Miguel Canizalez directing the ball behind Columbus goalkeeper Will Hesmer in the second minute of the game.

Canizalez became the least likely of heroes, having played most of the season as a reserve, with just two shots on goal until yesterday in eight games.

The 24-year-old from Toronto, who has won five caps playing with Canada's national team, made his third shot count.

It didn't, however, kick-start TFC's touch around the net as Jeff Cunningham -- with 96 MLS goals on his resume -- and Maurice Edu missed scoring on glorious opportunities in the first half.

TFC paid the price in the second half when Columbus began carrying the play, resulting in the tying goal in the 61st minute by Jason Garey and the winner in the 83rd minute off the foot of Jacob Thomas.

For the second time is as many games there were boos directed at the home side in the dying minutes from the 20,120 fans in attendance.

Manager Mo Johnston didn't try to hide his unhappiness at the club's inability to win.

He said that the missed chances after Canizalez's goal proved costly.

"Jeff at 100% just doesn't miss that chance," Johnston said. "And Maurice should have finished his chance as well."

Cunningham began showing the rust resulting from his eight-week layoff in the second half and was replaced by 20-year-old Andrea Lombardo.

BLAMES DEFENCE

Johnston put the blame for the loss squarely on the shoulders of the team's defensive unit.

"Our defenders just played poorly on the two goals against," he said. "On the second goal Andrew (Boyens) just had to come across on Thomas and there is no goal."

Johnston ordered the team to attend a unscheduled practice today.

"We can't keep having excuses," Johnston said. "These guys should know they are playing for their sweaters from now on this season."

The loss doesn't mathematically eliminate TFC for post-season play, but even Johnston admitted it was all but over.

"We go play a very good DC United team next week," he said. "And with the three points Columbus got today doesn't leave us much hope with just five games remaining."

For Canizalez, even in a loss, he knows that his stock rose with his goal.

After all he had been relegated to the bench of late after a promising start to the season.

"I was really happy that I scored, although it would be much better if we had won," he said. "I hope that I showed that I can start."


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