Bernardo Anor scored in the 56th minute to help the Columbus Crew beat Toronto FC 1-0 on Saturday.
The opportunistic Anor put the Crew in front after Toronto captain Julian de Guzman lost possession in midfield.
Toronto FC striker Danny Koevermans had a good chance in the 11th minute when a poor clearance went straight to him near the penalty spot. But his shot went straight at goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum.
''I think everybody saw that we were the better team,'' Koevermans said. ''We played better, we had more chances. And they had a penalty kick and the goal, which was a mistake by us.''
Columbus was awarded a penalty kick in the 41st minute when referee Geoff Gamble called a foul on Toronto defender Ty Harden as Crew forward Olman Vargas went down in the box as the ball headed out of play.
Harden vehemently disputed the call and the Toronto coaches were up in arms on the sidelines. Goalkeeper Milos Kocic then stepped up and stopped Milovan Mirosevic's kick, palming it away acrobatically to his right.
''I watched their penalties and I knew where he was going to go, so that helped,'' Kocic said. ''I did my homework.''
It was Toronto's third match in a week, with two more to come in the next seven days. In contrast, Columbus had played just once since its season opener March 10.
It was a challenging game for Gruenebaum, who got a wakeup call when Koevermans slammed into him on a high ball. The Toronto player was penalized and Gruenebaum took his time clearing the cobwebs.
The Crew goalie took another shot in the 31st minute when Ryan Johnson barreled into him on another high ball in the box.
Toronto substitute Eric Avila had a chance to tie it in the 72nd after a nice through ball sent him in alone but he ran out of room and Gruenebaum blocked his shot.
''We played decent, very well,'' Toronto FC coach Aron Winter said. ''I can't change it. The only thing is that we played three games in the league and we've got zero points and all of the games we played well and that is the big difference. ... Nobody has to panic.''