What can you say about the New York Red Bulls? They are masters at creating exciting moments in the last few dying moments of a game, and they proved that in Sunday’s game versus the Columbus Crew. It was an exciting game right from the start when Columbus scored in just under two minutes.
Forward Dominic Oduro provided the opening goal, but it did not come without a price. Immediately after, Oduro suffered an injury and had to be replaced by Aaron Schoenfeld. The error had occurred when Jámison Olave headed the ball straight to Columbus, where they were able to go for the easy goal.
The New York Red Bulls were able to tie it up when forward Thierry Henry scored his sixth goal of the season. The goal came on the 32nd minute by an assist by midfielder Tim Cahill. Cahill launched a pass from midfield to Henry’s feet where the Frenchman would go for the easy tap over Crew goalie, Andy Gruenebaum.
As the game continued, chances were abundant for both teams, but it was yet again the Columbus Crew who went ahead in the match during the second half. A penalty kick was awarded to Crew when defender Kosuke Kimura knocked down Crew forward Justin Meram inside the penalty box. It was a controversial call given the fact that Meram actually mishits the ball before he is knocked down by Kimura. Some disagreed with the call and one such person was the New York Red Bulls head coach, Mike Petke. MLSSoccer.com reports of Petke’s reaction:
“I have my checkbook out and I’m ready for MLS to fine me because it’s not good enough, the referees, it’s not good enough,” he said. “I watched the replay of the penalty of what I already knew to be not a penalty and it backed it up. [Meram] mis-hits the ball, mis-hits it, and then there’s contact from the side”
Nevertheless, forward Federico Higuaín stepped up to the plate and slotted the ball into the goal giving the Crew with the upper hand for a 2-1 score.
The last few minutes were proven to be intense with New York desperately seeking to at least earn the one point and tie it up. The team continued to push forward and create chances with each chance continuing to be denied either by the goalie or unfortunate misfortunes. But the New York Red Bulls had their way finally, and it had to come in the last few seconds of the game when Olave scored the tying goal to make it 2-2 during stoppage time. As the whole team was in the box, midfielder Johnny Steele crossed the ball into the box that founded Olave, where he took a beautiful first touch to control the ball and then kicking it straight into the upper left corner of the net. The whole stadium was going absolutely wild as Olave goes to celebrate his fourth goal of the season.
The Red Bulls were close to actually winning the game just two minutes later into the game when midfielder Lloyd Sam charged up the field with 4-5 teammates running along with him against four of Columbus’ defenders. There were some deflections and an open net, but the Crew were able to clear the ball away.
The New York Red Bulls are posting a 7-4-4 record with their seven game unbeaten streak still in place. They now start playing the US Open Cup that is open to all teams in the league, professional and amateur, and they host Reading United of the USL PDL on Wednesday. They then host Vancouver FC on Saturday at 7 P.M. The game will be made available on 1050 AM (ESPN Deportes) and on MSG.