After a tough loss to Sporting Kansas City in the US Open Cup Final, the New york Red Bulls had to travel to Columbus, Ohio and face the Crew in a big league match up to try and stay in their playoff position.
Well it went down hill very quickly and early as the Crew found a way to get on the scoreboard first. Foul called on New york and the dangerous Federico Higuain would take the spot kick along the near side touch line.
As soon as he struck the ball coming out of nowhere and unmarked was Jonathan Mensah as he scored on a leaping header to beat Robles to the near post for the early lead in the 6th minute.
But the Red Bulls would equalize eight minutes later on a great job by Sean Davis to collect the ball. He kept it away from two defenders and when he got into a great position, he found Bradley Wright-Phillips who settled it and took a rip that deflects off the far post and in.
For BWP his 16th of the season, his 86th career MLS goal and his 97th in all competitions as he converted in the US Open Cup Final at Sporting KC. Everything looked good level at half time.
But once again a referee mistake took them down and the Crew took advantage. Justin Meram who is having a red hot season was able to give the home side the lead in the 54th minute as he bent a beautiful ball around Robles as Kemar Lawrence gave him space and time to make a fantastic shot.
But a minute before that goal was scored, referee Fotis Bazakos struck again as he allowed a foul by Columbus to be called an advantage. Tyler Adams was fouled from behind and everyone waited for the whistle that never came.
There was no advantage to be had on that play and Adams was screaming for a free kick, sadly once again Bazakos has made a poor decision on the Red Bulls and it cost them the lead.
Justin Williams converted the third goal for the Crew on the clubs first corner of the game as Higuaín once again delivers a fantastic ball from the far side and now the Red bulls were down by two.
VAR or Video Assistant Referee was in play for the Red Bulls second goal as Gonzalo Veron was grabbed down inside and out of the Columbus penalty area. Originally a corner was called, but when VAR signaled to Bazakos to take a look the call was changed to a penalty and Veron converted in the 72nd minute.
But sadly with four minutes of stoppage time added the Red Bulls couldn’t do athing and fall to the Crew by a final of three goals to two. Another disappointing loss to the Red Bulls with five matches to play.
“It's an unfortunate result because our guys put so much into it and they're fighting hard and putting everything they have. So it's unlucky that we're not coming away with more, but it's been a difficult stretch. It's been a difficult week.” said Jesse Marsch, “It's an unfortunate result because our guys put so much into it and they're fighting hard and putting everything they have. So it's unlucky that we're not coming away with more, but it's been a difficult stretch. It's been a difficult week.”
It has been a difficult week for the Red bulls, but once again this situation is in a place where it shouldn’t be. the threat of losing a playoff spot and now a possibility of the situation of Bradley Wright-Phillips has come about.
On the MSG Network Broadcast, it was reported that BWP’s yellow card in the 73rd minute would give him a one match suspension for this coming Wednesday, but after the match there is debate whether he did reach that level on yellow card accumulation. So we will wait and see at training if he is or isn’t suspended.
But it’s a big scare right now for the Red Bulls, because if they do miss the playoffs, it would be in the final year at Giants Stadium of 2009, so Marsch knows he needs to tighten things up and fast.