MLS Snapshots: Toronto FC 0-0 Crew SC | Fire 1-0 Dynamo (video)

Melissa Renwick/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The game in 100 words (or less): Full of momentum (11 points won from eight road games to begin the season) and a hugely favorable schedule ahead of them (17 of their final 26 games will be played at home), Toronto FC were just about on top of the world two short weeks ago. Since then, just one win (and two draws) from the first four of 17 home games, and it’s all come to a screeching halt for the Reds. Even Sebastian Giovinco had a completely un-Giovinco-like afternoon (below videos) in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Columbus Crew SC, who entered the day ninth in the Eastern Conference. Crew SC, on the other hand, look like a side missing its star striker and goal-getter after dominating the middle third of the field before repeatedly stuttering and faltering in the final third. The draw sees TFC stay fifth in the East, while Crew SC begin and end the day in ninth, now just a point ahead of the Chicago Fire.

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Three moments that mattered

51′ — Meram chips Irwin, smacks the post — With Clint Irwin rushing off his line, Justin Meram decided to have a go from just outside the penalty area. The Iraqi international’s chip beat the ‘keeper but found nothing but steel at the far post.

68′ — Giovinco gets in all alone, skews his shot wide — Would you believe me if I told you the game’s best chance (thus far) fell to Giovinco and he didn’t put it away? Probably not, but…

80′ — Giovinco gets behind again, can’t finish again — Would you believe me if it happened again? Surely not, but…

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Man of the match: Justin Meram

Goalscorers: None

The game in 100 words (or less): The Chicago Fire won a game on Saturday, 1-0 over the Houston Dynamo, who entered the day just four points and three places in the standings better, but remain bottom of the Eastern Conference and all of MLS in the Supporters’ Shield race. Arturo Alvarez scored the game’s only goal, which was a real beauty (video below) and Sean Johnson made a spectacular save in the game’s dying minutes to hand first-year head coach Veljko Paunovic his second victory in 11 tries.

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Three Two moments that mattered

3′ — Alvarez turns home Gilberto’s cross for 1-0 — Gilberto’s ball steals the spotlight here, but Alvarez’s deft touch on the finish is nothing to scoff at, either.

86′ — Johnson goes full stretch to deny Manotas late on — Mauro Manotas had to have thought he’d equalizer in the 86th minute, only to watch Johnson crush his every hope and dream.

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Man of the match: Arturo Alvarez

Goalscorers: Alvarez (3′)