|photo by Matt Kremkau
by Garry Redman
In a match that they fought hard to get back to, the Red Bulls let more than a few opportunities slip through their fingers as a goal in the 62nd minute from s restart allowed the Columbus Crew to defeat the Red Bulls 2-1.
After picking up four needed points in their last two matches, the Red Bulls traveled to the capital city of the Buckeye State to face a red-hot Columbus Crew team that has been unbeaten in their last five, with two of those victories at home.
In the game's opening minutes, the Red Bulls faced a potential threat when Cuchuo Hernández managed to get past the New York defenders and attempted a shot. Fortunately, Carlos Coronel was able to save it effortlessly. However, the play was disallowed as the linesman detected that Hernández was offside and signaled for the attack to be nullified.
Then in the 14th minute, Columbus was on the attack, threatening to score again. Lucan Zalarayan initiated it by evading defender Andres Reyes and passing the ball to Alexandru Matan, who took a shot that was easily saved by Carlos Coronel.
But then the hosts finally broke through in the 19th minute. Alexandru Matan danced his way deep into the New York defense, slotted a pass right to Cucho Hernandez, and he deftly backheeled the ball right past the Brazilian goalkeeper, who could do nothing to save the shot like he did twice earlier, and just like that, Columbus took the lead.
Although Columbus had a strong presence on the pitch, New York was struggling with turnovers, hindering their ability to establish a rhythm and causing disruptions both on and off the ball. But all of that changed for the visitors as the Red Bulls began to apply their press which caused the Crew to make careless turnovers themselves. It paid off in the 38th minute as Omir Fernandez picked up the loose ball and lofted it over to Elias Manoel, who headed it in the back of the net to draw themselves even.
The second half began with the Crew having trouble dealing with the Red Bulls' press in midfield, with Elias Manoel doing most of the troublemaking. In the 53rd minute, he would've got his second goal of the match if not for the quick thinking of Columbus' goalkeeper Patrick Shulte, making a timely save by pushing the ball to his right from the low post.
However, that momentum was quickly dashed as Columbus recaptured the lead in the 62nd minute. After the official dropped the ball to reset the play after New York defender Andres Reyes took a shot in his midsection, temporarily halting the match, Mohamed Farsi moved the ball to the sideline. He got it over to Yaw Yaboah, and he blasted the ball right past Coronel who could not handle the shot as it drifted in the back of the net.
Red Bulls had a golden opportunity just a minute later as Omir Fernandez drew a foul in the box, earning a penalty. Elias Manoel had a chance to score his second goal as he attempted to convert the penalty, but he pulled his shot wide to the right and rang off the post, to the delight of the home supporters who felt justice was done.
The Red Bulls looked to be down a man as midfielder Frankie Amaya seemed to extend his elbow right to Sean Zawadzki's neck area, but after a lengthy review by the official, the red card was disallowed. And although he was fortunate to remain on the field, he may be suspended or fined by the league's Disciplinary Committee later.
With time running out, Red Bulls pressed for the equalizer late in the match, but Columbus had an answer to their challenges defensively as the final whistle was blown, the Crew securing all three points, now unbeaten in six consecutive matches. As for the Red Bulls, yet another opportunity goes begging as they head back home as they face the conference-leading New England Revolution next weekend at Red Bull Arena.
Columbus Crew: Patrick Shulte, Malte Amundsen, Steven Moreira, Sean Zawadzki, Yaw Yeboah (62'), Darlington Nagbe, Alexandru Matan, Mohamed Farsi, Lucas Zalarayan, Cucho Hernandez (19'), Christian Ramirez
New York Red Bulls: Carlos Coronel, Cameron Harper, Andres Reyes, Sean Nealis, Kyle Duncan, Daniel Edelman, Frankie Amaya, Luquinhas, Omir Fernandez, Tom Barlow, Elias Manoel (38')
19' - Columbus Crew SC - Cucho Hernandez, assisted by Alexandru Matan and Christian Ramirez
38' - New York Red Bulls - Elias Manoel, assisted by Omir Fernandez and Frankie Amaya
62' - Columbus Crew SC - Yaw Yaboah, assisted by Mohamed Farsi and Cucho Hernandez
33' - New York Red Bulls - Daniel Edelman - Yellow Card
63' - Columbus Crew SC - Patrick Schulte - Yellow Card
72' - Columbus Crew SC - Sean Zawadzki - Yellow Card
82' - New York Red Bulls - Frankie Amaya - Yellow Card
90' - New York Red Bulls - Carlos Coronel - Yellow Card