Amongst the midsummer’s night heat in Columbus, Ohio, Columbus Crew SC played to a dramatic 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls. After a Bradley Wright-Phillips header gave the visiting side the lead, striker Ola Kamara gave Crew SC a well-earned point at home after a tap in goal late in stoppage time equalized.
New York started the game strongly, creating multiple chances early on. Costly turnovers made in the midfield by Crew SC also gave the Red Bulls the necessary shots on goal that they needed, in order to be a threat to the Columbus backline.
Columbus saw one dangerous shot after a free kick taken by Mohammed Saeid bounced off heads inside the New York penalty area. A centered cross from Harrison Afful was then cleared by Ronald Zubar and play shifted the other way.
New York’s first chance came in the 17th minute of play when they were awarded a free kick, just at the top left corner outside the 18-yard box. The kick by Sacha Kljestan would find the target, but only hit the outside netting, forcing a goal kick for Crew SC keeper, Steve Clark.
Crew SC would get a shot off of the foot from Afful that hit the post and out. Although Crew SC had more possession in the opening half-hour the Red Bulls had the better of the scoring chances.
The momentum of the physical match would shift in favor of Crew SC, when Connor Lade, Alex Muyl, and Kljestan were all cautioned within three minutes of each other. This allowed Crew SC to open the game up and play their style of soccer, creating chance after chance, and frustrating the Red Bull backline with shots on goal.
Red Bulls breakthrough
After halftime, the Red Bulls took control of the half with a goal from Wright-Phillips. A cross sent in from the wing centrally found the head of the Englishman, who slotted it home at the far post past an outstretched Steve Clark. This allowed the Red Bulls to ease off the gas and look to contain Crew SC.
Columbus looked to change the game tactically in search of an equalizer. Harrison Afful had his fair share of shots from distance. Though they couldn't find a goal initially, they forced the New York back line to think more about how they were defending, and eventually the pressure would tell.
New York would get caught ball watching in the end, as Waylon Francis sent in a low cross that found the resting foot of Ola Kamara, who tapped it into the back of the net, tying the game at 1-1.
The match felt like a loss for the Red Bulls, who dominated the majority of the match. For Crew SC, it felt like a win, as they managed to steal a point in front of their home fans.
Red Bull head coach Jesse Marsch would say after the game, "It's frustrating for us where we give away late goals and instead of walking away from this road trip and having two good performances, that lead to four points, we walk away with one." The Red Bulls, in their recent game against Real Salt Lake, gave up a late goal, falling short at Rio Tinto Stadium, 2-1.
Take in considertation, New York was also without center back Aurelien Collin, who is serving a one game suspension due to receiving a red card in the last match.
"For me it's ridiculous. I don't know who is looking at that play and thinks that deserves a red card, or a yellow card, or even a foul; It's terrible. It's ridiculous. Poor judgement; I don't mind the system, I think the system is good where if now there is an appeal and now there's independent parties. But it's the independant parties who are in charge of making sane decisions and rational decisions. I don't knoe what else to say. Anyone can look at that and think it's ridiculous," said Marsch.