The Crew twice lead on the road at Conference leader New York, but twice they let the lead slip away as they settled for a draw.
The Crew opened early as Jamison Olave cleared a ball into the path of Eddie Gaven who tapped the ball to Dominic Oduro. Oduro split the Red Bulls defense and fired a shot past Luis Robles to give the visitors a 1-0 lead just two minutes into the game. The price would be high though as Oduro suffered a thigh injury on the play and was lifted for Aaron Schoenfeld.
Columbus looked like the better team throughout the first half, but the Red Bulls would test the Crew's makeshift back line in the 31st minute. Tim Cahill drove a direct ball that caught Kevan George pushed up. George missed the header and the ball fell to Thierry Henry. Henry cooly chipped Andy Gruenebaum to make it 1-1.
The Red Bulls would nearly get a second in quick succession. Henry again got behind the defense, but quick thinking by Gruenebaum to close down the angle. Henry tried a sharp angle shot, but the ball sliced past the goal mouth and the ball was cleared.
The Crew would have a golden chance just before halftime to take the lead when Federico Higuain freed up Justin Meram with a defense splitting pass. Meram, alone on goal, mishit his shot and clipped it well wide.
After a quiet opening to the second half the Crew would catch a break just past the 70th minute mark. Gaven would get the ball on the right side of the 18 yard box and center the ball to Justin Meram. Meram would scuff his chance, but Kotsue Kimura would pressure from behind. Referee Geoff Gamble called the controversial penalty.
After being stopped by Robles on a May 4th penalty attempt, Higuain would easily tie the game with his spot kick.
The Red Bulls pressed for the equalizer. Juninho powered a shot right at Gruenebaum. Just minutes later, Olave lobbed a header amongst the scrum towards the goal. George anticipated the shot and cleared the ball off the line.
The equalizer would eventually come in stoppage time. Jonny Steele would lob a ball toward the goal line. Olave popped up again and took the ball down. He faked George and rifled a shot past a stranded Gruenebaum to end the scoring.
The Crew once again fail to beat a winning team and fall to 4-4-4 with 16 points on the year. Columbus is now tied with New England for 6th in the Eastern Conference and are two points behind the Philadelphia Union for the 5th and final playoff spot. Columbus plays Dayton at home on Wednesday in the Open Cup before returning to league play against Houston on Saturday.