An early goal was not enough for the Columbus Crew on Saturday night, as the New York Red Bulls scored three unanswered to send the Crew back to Ohio with zero points.
The loss, coupled with a D.C. United win, drops Columbus out of an Eastern Conference playoff position. They are now sitting in sixth place with 42 points (12-10-6). New York remains in third place, upping their point total to 49 (14-7-7).
Columbus lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation. The back four consisted of Sebastian Miranda, Chad Marshall, Julius James, and Josh Williams. Danny O'Rourke and Tony Tchani started in the defensive midfielder spots. The attacking trio of Eddie Gaven, Milovan Mirosevic, and Dilly Duka lined up direclty behind Jairo Arrieta. Federico Higuain did not start due to a foot contusion. The Red Bulls used a 4-4-2 formation with a diamond midfield.
More after the jump...The Crew took an extremely early lead after some great combination play. Jairo Arrieta played a wall pass with Milovan Mirosevic on the left flank, sending him toward the end line. Arrieta put the ball on his right foot before cutting back to his left and sent in a low, hard pass across the box. Mirosevic opened up his rear leg, reached slightly backward, and tapped the ball with his left foot into the net.
New York only had to wait six minutes before leveling the game. Rafael Marquez played a long ball from his own half toward Thierry Henry in the center of the field. Henry shuffled toward goal to meet the ball right as it came down, settling it brilliantly with his right foot. His next touch was with his left, slipping the ball past an onrushing Andy Gruenebaum. Crew defender Chad Marshall completely misjudged the long ball, allowing Henry to slide in behind him rather easily.
Mirosevic nearly scored his second of the game in the 15th minute, but his diving header from Dilly Duka's lofted cross went just wide of the right post.
Kenny Cooper had the first great chance to score in the second half. In the 59th minute, Connor Lade's cutback pass found the open Cooper, but the forward completely whiffed on his shot attempt at the top of the six-yard box.
The Red Bulls finally capitalized on their chances in the 79th minute. Andy Greuenbaum made a great save from a close-range Henry shot, tipping the ball off the crossbar and out of bounds. Henry's ensuing corner found Dax McCarty, who outjumped Eddie Gaven at the far post and headed the ball into the side netting. Gruenebaum hit his face on the post while diving in attempt to save McCarty's header. As a precaution, Matt Lampson came in for Gruenebaum to play out the rest of the game.
The referee awarded nine minutes of stoppage time due to Gruenebaum's injury. In the 93rd minute, Henry struck once again from a corner kick. However, this time, he scored himself. Noticing that Lampson was already off of his line before the corner was taken, Henry aimed for the far post. The ball struck the woodwork and went in, giving Henry an Olympico, or a direct goal from a corner kick. The rare goal secured New York yet another rather dominant victory, 3-1.