Crew beat defending champion Toronto FC 2-0 in MLS opener

Columbus Crew defender Harrison Afful, left, chests the ball away from Toronto FC midfielder Victor Vazquez, center, during the first half of an MLS soccer game in Toronto on Saturday, March 3, 2018. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)

Federico Higuain and Gyasi Zardes scored to help the Columbus Crew beat Toronto FC 2-0 on Saturday, spoiling the defending MLS champion Reds' home opener.

Zack Steffen made two saves for Columbus.

Higuain one-timed Milton Valenzuela' cross past diving goaltender Alex Bono in the 44th minute. Bono dove to get his hand on the shot, but couldn't get enough to keep it out. Higuain has 49 goals and 49 assists in 150 career MLS appearances.

Zardes scored a minute into the second half, getting his foot on Pedro Santos' through ball and putting it past Bono. Zardes joined the Crew in an offseason deal with the L.A. Galaxy.

Toronto lost just one regular-season game last year at BMO Field.

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