Federico Higuain appears to be quite an addition to Major League Soccer as he notched a goal and an assist to help the Columbus Crew take a 2-1 win over Toronto FC at Crew Stadium on Wednesday.
Higuain marked his Columbus debut with an assist in the club's 2-2 draw with the Houston Dynamo on Sunday. He was able to build upon that outing with another top-drawer performance, setting up Eddie Gaven early on before bagging what turned out to be the game-winner in the second half.
Luis Silva pulled one back for visiting Toronto, but it failed to spark a comeback as the Canadian club was held to its fourth loss in its last five league games.
The result helps Columbus (9-8-6) inch closer to a playoff spot, improving to 33 points on the season, while also keeping Toronto (5-15-5) in last place on 20 points.
It took Columbus just over three minutes to break through as Higuain's centering pass found Gaven at the top of the box. The Crew midfielder uncorked a shot that took a deflection through traffic and wrong-footed goalkeeper Freddy Hall on its way into the back of the net.
Jairo Arrieta nearly extended the Crew's lead in the 53rd minute when his right-footed shot struck the woodwork, but he still managed to have a hand in doubling the advantage when he assisted Higuain for his first MLS goal.
Higuain scuffed a shot in the 58th minute, but Arrieta was able to collect the ball with his back to goal and lay it off for the Designated Player. Higuain made no mistake with the second attempt, hammering it past Hall.
Toronto pulled one back in the 71st minute when Silva latched on to a splitting pass played through the middle of the field and slotted a shot past Andy Gruenebaum, but it proved to nothing more than a consolation strike.