COLUMBUS, Ohio - Steven Lenhart scored a pair of second-half goals and the Columbus Crew rallied for a 2-2 draw with Toluca on Wednesday in the first leg of the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League.
Lenhart's goals in the 66th and 84th made for a dramatic finish as the Champions League resumed after a nearly four-month break.
Antonio "Sinha" Naelson put the Diablos Rojos ahead in the 19th minute and Antonio Rios doubled the advantage in the 45th.
Toluca, which has won only twice in nine games in the Mexican Clausura but is unbeaten in its last four, will host the second leg March 17.
Columbus, which hadn't played a competitive match since October 25 and is not scheduled to begin the Major League Soccer season until March 27, faces a major challenge to overcome the first-leg deficit. MLS teams have only earned two draws in 19 matches played in Mexico.
The Crew played without midfielder Guillermo Barros Schelotto and defender Frankie Hejduk due to yellow card accumulation.
It still had the better of early play until Sinha traded passes with Raul Nava at midfield and ran into the top of the penalty area unchallenged. He slowed to let defender Danny O'Rourke overrun the play and then hit a low rolling shot inside the left post.
Possession was even for the rest of the half but Rios ran onto a loose ball after Columbus defender Eric Bruner tried to head away a chipped ball into the area. Rios' right-footed shot from just outside the arc swerved just inside the left post and into the high corner.
"For us, our next opponent isn't the Columbus Crew, it is Cruz Azul," Toluca manager Juan Manuel de la Torre said. "But with respect to the next game against the Crew, we will prepare the same way with the expectation that we should beat the Columbus Crew."
Columbus appeared to regroup in the second half, with Emmanuel Ekpo testing goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera in the 47th and ahead trying to chip the Mexican keeper, who was out of position off his line, in the 57th.
"Being down two goals, we just had to come out in the second half and pressure them, get after them," Lenhart said. "We didn't want to go down to Mexico down a couple of goals."
The Crew finally converted when Ekpo sent a chipped pass into the area. Lenhart took the ball off his chest and volleyed it with his right, beating Talavera to the near side.
Lenhart equalized with six minutes remaining. Columbus' Emilio Renteria, who replaced Ekpo in the 73rd, set up the finale, sending a short ball to Lenhart as he crossed into the area. Lenhart took one touch and finished with a right-footed shot.