At the end of a scoreless first half, Toronto's (1-1-0) Justin Morrow was shown a red card after a hard tackle of Ethan Finley just outside the box.
"My thought is that it's not a red card," said Toronto coach Greg Vanney. "From where my vantage point, I haven't specifically watched a replay, I just talked to trusted people who have watched it and from what I saw in the match, it wasn't a red card and nothing that I've heard really otherwise has changed my mind."
TFC has not decided whether they will appeal the red card or not, but Vanney said that if it's how he remembered the play, the appeal would be under strong consideration. He added that it's a decision that will made in the next 24 hours.
Columbus (1-1-0) took advantage of playing a man up quickly in the second half. In the 57th minute, Finley's perfect cross from the right flank found Justin Meram in the middle of the box and Meram calmly headed it past a diving Joe Bendik for a 1-0 lead.
Kei Kamara made it 2-0 four minutes later with a close range half-volley off a feed from the left by Waylon Francis.
Vanney says Toronto's play in the second half was just OK.
"We gave away a couple, guys got free from us in the box," he said. "We knew we were going to be defending a fair amount of crosses. We needed to be very spot on about our marks and about covering certain spaces when those crosses were made."
Columbus had 21 total shots with seven on target. Steve Clark made two saves to register his first shutout of the season, the ninth of his MLS career.
Notes: Steven Caldwell didn't play in the second half for TFC after suffering Achilles and calf tightness.
With files from the Associated Press.