New York Red Bulls 3, Columbus Crew SC 2 | 2016 MLS Match Recap
Bradley Wright-Phillips bagged another brace to surge into a late lead atop the Audi Golden Boot race as the New York Red Bulls netted three well-crafted goals, defeating Columbus Crew SC at home and consolidating their inside track on first place in the MLS Eastern Conference.
But there were plenty of grimaces at the final whistle at Red Bull Arena on Sunday, as RBNY slacked off late and nearly allowed a 3-0 lead to evaporate into a draw.
Adam Jahn and Harrison Afful scored pretty strikes in the dying minutes as Crew SC fought until the end, making New York sweat up until the final whistle. Sacha Kljestan also failed to convert a first-half penalty kick, another flashpoint in an eventful afternoon that nearly burned the home team.
It marks the latest in a series of blown leads for the Red Bulls in 2016, though they salvaged all three points from this one in the end.
- 53' - NY - Mike Grella (Sacha Kljestan, Chris Duvall)
- 58' - NY - Bradley Wright-Phillips (Alex Muyl)
- 70' - NY - Bradley Wright-Phillips (Aurelien Collin, Sacha Kljestan)
- 73' - CLB - Adam Jahn (Justin Meram, Ethan Finlay)
- 83' - CLB - Harrison Afful (Michael Parkhurst)
- Full Box Score
- Watch Highlights
- STATS-PADDING WITH BWP & SACHA: David Villa bagged a PK for NYCFC down in D.C., but Wright-Phillips has seized the league lead in goals with 23. He will fancy his chances of striking one or two more at Philly next week...but he needs Crew SC to stifle Villa at Yankee Stadium. Meanwhile, Kljestan now has an amazing 19 helpers this season; one more and he'll have the most assists in the modern era (ie, post-2001 second-assist rule change).
- JAHN'S JAWN: Ola Kamara has been the undisputed linchpin up top in Columbus since the messy departure of Kei Kamara. But with three goals in Crew SC's last two games, Adam Jahn has shown some quality and given Gregg Berhalter and the rest of the club's brain trust plenty to think about. The big striker with the soft feet has probably earned himself a shot somewhere in 2017, even if it's not with Columbus.
- LEADS, I'VE LOST A FEW: RBNY are three points clear atop the East and if Colorado's and Dallas' results break in their favor, could conceivably even grab the Supporters' Shield with a win next week. But they would already be miles ahead in both tables were it not for a months-long habit of flubbing multi-goal advantages like they did on Sunday. And it could still come back to bite them in the postseason...
Red Bulls still with strange habit of making teams who've been sleepwalking through games look like world beaters in final 10 minutes.— Graham Parker (@KidWeil) October 16, 2016