The Columbus Crew gave up an equalizing goal to the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night, settling for a 1-1 draw in front of the largest crowd of the season. Jairo Arrieta opened the scoring on a first-half penalty kick, but the New York Red Bulls levelled the game in the second half on a sublimely placed shot by Bradley Wright-Phillips.
With the result, the Crew close a frustrating month of April in which they went winless in four games. After a torrid March that witnessed the team's first-ever 3-0 start, the Crew's record stands at 3-1-3 (W-L-D) with twelve points from seven games played.
New York entered the game riding a two-game scoring streak, including a hat trick by forward Bradley Wright-Phillips in a 4-0 demolition of the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday. Columbus faced this threat successfully, finishing the game with their usual edge in possession and passing, imposing the style of play encouraged by coach Gregg Berhalter.
Unfortunately, the team's advantages on the stat sheet did not translate into three points. Instead, it was a pair of posts which played a significant role in the outcome.
The first post was struck by Jairo Arrieta. With Columbus leading 1-0 in the 55th minute, the Costa Rican forward shot from the top of the penalty area, but saw his effort bounce back off the left side of the goal. The rebound came back to Arrieta, who won a corner kick with his second shot, but the chance was lost.
The second post was struck in the 66th minute, and finished the scoring. Bradley Wright-Phillips received a cross-field pass from Lloyd Sam, turned and fired a quick shot under defender Josh Williams. Steve Clark's diving save attempt couldn't reach the ball, which deflected off the far goalpost and into the net.
In his post-game comments, coach Gregg Berhalter did not appear unduly frustrated. Acknowledging the difficulty of scoring goals in soccer, he pointed out that the Crew were able to produce the style of play he encourages, and were not disjointed to the degree that they were the previous week against DC United.
Columbus will play their next two games on the road, starting next Sunday with a trip to Kansas City and followed by a midweek game in Houston.
Timeline of Events
6' Caution, Tony Tchani (dangerous tackle on Bradley Wright-Phillips)
9' Corner kick, New York (right side - deflected)
18' Corner kick, Columbus (right side - Higuain, headed out)
21' Corner kick, Columbus (left side - punched by Robles)
35' Corner kick, Columbus (right side - foul called)
38' Penalty kick called, Justin Meram fouled by Kosuke Kimura
38' 1-0 Jairo Arrieta (penalty kick)
46+ Caution, Bradley Wright-Phillips (reckless tackle on Federico Higuain)
51' Corner kick, New York (right side - cleared at near post)
56' Corner kick, Columbus (left side - caught by Robles)
66' 1-1 Bradley Wright-Phillips (Lloyd Sam)
68' Dominic Oduro replaces Justin Meram
76' Ethan Finlay replaces Hector Jimenez
77' Corner kick, New York (right side - cleared)
78' Jonny Steele replaces Peguy Luyindula
87' Adam Bedell replaces Jairo Arrieta
92+ Ruben Bover replaces Lloyd Sam
Steve Clark, Josh Williams, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Michael Parkhurst, Waylon Francis, Tony Tchani, Wil Trapp, Hector Jimenez (Ethan Finlay 76'), Federico Higuain, Justin Meram (Dominic Oduro 68'), Jairo Arrieta (Adam Bedell 87')
Matt Lampson, Tyson Wahl, Agustin Viana, Eric Gehrig
Luis Robles, Kosuke Kimura, Jamison Olave, Armando, Roy Miller, Lloyd Sam (Ruben Bover 92+), Dax McCarty, Peguy Luyindula (Jonny Steele 78'), Eric Alexander, Bradley Wright-Phillips, Thierry Henry
Ryan Meara, Tim Cahill, Ibrahim Sekagya, Andre Akpan, Connor Lade
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the Crew's record. The team has three wins, one loss, and three draws with twelve points.