New York Red Bulls 2, Columbus Crew SC 1 | MLS Match Recap
HARRISON, N.J. – The New York Red Bulls and Columbus Crew SC hardly put on a defensive master class, on a night that saw one of their most beloved center backs honored before the match. For the home side it mattered little, as the Red Bulls took the rubber match of a three-game set by dispatching Columbus 2-1.
New York is now 3-2-0 in their last five, alternating wins and losses along the way, while Crew SC drop to fourth in the East with just two games left in their regular season campaign.
Entering the night, the Red Bulls knew they would be without the services of defender Matt Miazga as well as head coach Jesse Marsch. An unexpected absentee cropped up on match day, as defender Kemar Lawrence was omitted from the squad, missing out for personal reasons.
It appeared early the absences would prove too much to overcome for the Red Bulls, as Crew SC jumped out to an quick lead in the 9th minute. After a giveaway near midfield, winger Justin Meram started the counter attack and eventually ended the movement as his redirected effort found its way past a frustrated Luis Robles.
The Red Bulls wasted little time in finding the equalizer, as Lloyd Sam sent the home fans into a frenzy with his 13th minute strike. With the ball at his feet, winger Mike Grella burst into the penalty area before unleashing a dangerous shot that Columbus goalkeeper Steve Clark could only parry into the path of Sacha Kljestan. The team’s assist leader added yet another to his tally as he squared the ball across to an open Sam who finished with ease.
Less than ten minutes later New York would net the go-ahead goal, signaling the familiar 2-1 score line that has decided all three matches between these two sides. Marsch may not have been on the sideline, but his trademark high press was alive and well between the lines. Grella once again played instigator as his defensive pressure forced Clark to flub his clearance. Defender Connor Lade, filling in for Lawrence at left back, pounced on the giveaway before centering to forward Bradley Wright-Phillips who easily nodded home from close range.
The second half saw New York push for a third before shutting up shop to cope with an increasingly dangerous Crew attack. In the end, an equalizer was not in the cards for a frustrated Columbus side.
With the win, the Red Bulls strengthen their grip on the Easter Conference crown while reclaiming the top spot in the race for their second Supporters’ Shield in three years.
New York will now look towards the final match of their three-game homestand as they take on the Montreal Impact on Wednesday night, while Columbus Crew SC enter a bye week before heading north to take on Toronto FC at BMO Field on October 17.