Columbus Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter said last week he hoped his team would remember the "worst loss of the season" when they returned to Red Bull Arena. It certainly appeared as if the players remembered the 4-1 loss on Sunday afternoon, as the Black and Gold got their revenge with a 3-1 win over the New York Red Bulls.
The Crew came out attacking, getting a shot on goal from left back Bernardo Anor in the opening minute of the game. Winger Justin Meram almost turned a New York turnover at midfield into a goal when he dribbled into the attacking third and sprayed the ball wide to Ethan Finlay. The midfielder's low cross put a scare in the Red Bulls but no player was able to redirect it into the goal.
Seventeen minutes into the match, Columbus got on the board through forward Aaron Schoenfeld. The big striker's first touch inside the penalty box let him down, but he was able to regroup and power a shot by New York goalkeeper Luis Robles.
Ten minutes later, Crew goalkeeper Steve Clark was forced into a save to keep his team ahead. Red Bulls' midfielder Lloyd Sam played a lay off pass to Thierry Henry and his effort forced Clark into a diving save.
Ten minutes before the halftime break, the Black and Gold doubled their lead through Finlay. Center midfielder Tony Tchani played a perfectly weighted pass through and Finlay slotted it by Robles for his fourth goal in as many games and his 11th on the season.
New York did not let up in the second half, looking to battle back and get something out of the match. In the 69th minute, they got one back through Sam, who dribbled between Meram and Anor before firing a rocket that finally beat Clark.
The Red Bulls continued to mount pressure, but it was Columbus who got the final goal of the match. After a good series of passes, Finlay played a ball to Schoenfeld in the New York box and the forward remained composed and found the net to lock up the win.
Three points in this game means the Crew jump New York in the standings, moving up to fourth place. Columbus will continue to try and rise in the East, with the chance to move up to third and avoid the wild card game still a possibility, when they take on the Philadelphia Union next Sunday in the final home game of the regular season.