The Columbus Crew defeated the New York Red Bulls rather handedly by a score of 2-0 at Mapfre Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus slowed the Red Bulls' roll and put a large amount of doubt into them, putting them in a tough spot now going back to RBA down 2-0.
The Columbus Crew opened the game immediately on the scoreboard. 10 seconds into the game, Justin Meram ran right through the Red Bulls defense and beat Luis Robles to put Columbus up 1-0, making the Crew faithful go absolutely bonkers. That goal also put the Red Bulls on their heels and was a real punch in the gut to them, a deficit that no matter how hard they tried, which wasn’t very hard at certain times, they couldn’t overcome.
The Red Bulls had some good chances after that but couldn’t get past Crew goalie Steve Clark. The game would remain 1-0 until the 85th minute when off a shot by Cedric Mabwati that was partially saved by Robles, Kei Kamara poked the ball into the wide open net to put the Red Bulls in a very precarious place and make it a 2-0 game.
New York had a turnover problem in this game as they turned the ball over countless times giving the Crew great opportunities. The Red Bulls led Columbus in the shots department with 16 to Columbus’ 15, but eight of those shots were off target and six were blocked. Columbus meanwhile had only four off target and four blocked.
To put that into perspective, in the Red Bulls' first round series win this year over DC United, in both games DC only had two shots on goal. There were a lot of set piece opportunities in this one as the Red Bulls and Crew both had 10 corners, and committed 19 total fouls.
The scenario for the Red Bulls is a lot harder than they would’ve hoped for right now, but it’s not impossible going back home. Due to the fact they didn’t score today, giving up an away goal next week would not be preferred.
For the Red Bulls to advance they need to score at least three goals. If the Red Bulls win the game next week 2-0 it would go to extra time as the aggregate would be 2-2. If the Red Bulls win 3-0 however, the Red Bulls would move on. The same thing for a 4-1 Red Bulls win if it happens that way. If the Red Bulls win 3-1, the aggregate would be 3-3 but the fact that Columbus scored an away goal would send them through.
The second leg of this series is next Sunday at 7:30 pm ET, where the New York Red Bulls look to climb from the depths of despair in front of what will undoubtedly be a rocking Red Bull Arena crowd against the Columbus Crew SC.