Higuain scores 2 as Crew beat Toronto FC 2-0

The Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Federico Higuain scored two goals for the second straight match, lifting the Columbus Crew to a 2-0 victory over Toronto FC on Saturday night.

The Argentinean forward gave the Crew (8-11-5) the lead in the 19th minute, then for the second straight game had an exquisite chip for the second tally in the 67th. Higuain perfectly placed a looping ball from 23 yards over the futile effort of goalkeeper Joe Bendik, who was only a few yards off the goal line.

Higuain is tied with Dominic Oduro for the team lead with nine goals as the Crew have consecutive wins for the first time since Aug. 29 and Sept. 1, 2012, a span of 32 games.

''It just happens,'' Higuain said of scoring four goals in the last two games. ''I've had a lot of good chances. They just hit the post or they've been close and haven't gone in. Right now it feels like things are happening for this team.''

Toronto FC (4-12-8) has lost two straight after winning its previous two.

''We had a bad day at the office. They had a good day,'' Toronto coach Ryan Nelsen said. ''We're not good enough where we can have an off day and get away with it. Hopefully, someday we'll be in that situation.''

Higuain's first goal came after Joe Bendik stopped Bernardo Anor from close range at the right post. Higuain settled the rebound and took several touches before firing from about 10 yards. Bendik later kept Toronto within one going into halftime with saves on Oduro, Anor and Justin Meram.

But for the second straight match Higuain had a world-class chip and the Crew needed only two saves from Matt Lampson for back-to-back home shutouts for the first time since July 16 and 23, 2011.

''The back four I had in front of me was unreal,'' Lampson said. ''The shutout goes to them as much as me.''