Columbus Crew grab late 1-1 draw to stun New York Red Bulls

Gerhard Struber on touchline for Red Bulls vs Columbus Crew March 20, 2022

Darlington Nagbe scored with the last kick of the game to secure a wild 1-1 draw between the Columbus Crew and New York Red Bulls. Both teams had chances to win, but will now head into the international break with things to work on.

Columbus Crew grab late 1-1 draw to stun New York Red Bulls

Team News

Red Bulls name the exact same lineup that lost to Minnesota last weekend. However, the surprises are on the bench. Cristian Cásseres returns to the bench, so does Luquinhas and Ashley Fletcher, who could make his MLS debut. Caden Clark and Tom Barlow are also attacking options ready in case.

Yes, the Crew also name the same starting eleven that defeated Toronto FC last week. This’ll be a game impacted by the benches, should it be tight in the second half.

Red Bulls lineup (3-4-2-1): Carlos Coronel; Sean Nealis, (C) Aaron Long, Dylan Nealis; John Tolkin, Dru Yearwood, Frankie Amaya, Tom Edwards; Omir Fernandez, Lewis Morgan; Patryk Klimala

New York subs: Ryan Meara, Lucas Monzon, Cristian Cásseres Jr, Caden Clark, Luquinhas, Daniel Edelman, Ashley Fletcher, Tom Barlow, Serge Ngoma

Columbus lineup (4-2-3-1): Eloy Room; Pedro Santos, Miloš Degenek, (C) Jonathan Mensah, Steven Moreira; Darlington Nagbe, Artur; Derrick Etienne Jr, Lucas Zelarayan, Yaw Yeboah; Miguel Berry

Crew subs: Evan Bush, Jalil Anibaba, William Sands, Luis Diaz, Aidan Morris, James Igbekeme, Marlon Hairston, Alexandru Matan, Gyasi Zardes

First Half: Nothing to separate the Red Bulls and Columbus Crew

The first 45 minutes went as expected, the two teams are evenly matched and it led to a scoreless opening half. Seven shots between the teams, only two on target, all by New York. There were nervy moments when the Red Bulls turned the ball over, leading to a Crew attack. While those attacks didn’t lead to goals, the threat remains especially with Lucas Zelarayan on the ball.

Zelarayan didn’t get many looks at goal, but when he did he dropped his marker and shot wide of goal. Arguably the best playmaker in the league, he completed four successful dribbles, according to FotMob. Possession was slim in favor of the away side – 51%-49% for the Crew. The game took a while to get going with so many fouls, seventeen of them in total. It represented the fun tactical battle between Caleb Porter and Gerhard Struber, who have options on the bench that can change the game.

Both teams knew of the importance of this game, being it’s the last before the international break. Both keepers had little to do, as the Expected Goals was less than the value of two quarters.

Second Half: Late goals, late drama in a 1-1 draw

The first real chance of the half came off the foot of Tolkin. He was on the end of a nice cross by Edwards but the American couldn’t keep his shot down as it went high over the bar. Tom Barlow and Casseres Jr come on for Klimala and Dylan respectively.

Gyasi Zardes entered the game for Berry, looking to add more punch in attack. The Crew missed a golden chance to take the lead after some sweet build up play. Yeboah’s low cross found the foot of Zardes who poked it wide of net and squander the opportunity.

Luis Diaz replaced Yeboah. Columbus had numerous chances by Zardes and Etienne Jr to give the away side the lead, but failed. 

The Red Bulls would take the lead. Off an in swinging corner, the ball would bounce in the air until Long got the final touch. The game nearly ended but the Crew managed to snatch a late equalizer. After the ball went through multiple bodies in the box, Nagbe poked in the leveler. It would be the final kick of the game, in a lively entertaining draw.

Three Takeaways from Red Bulls vs Columbus Crew

Columbus leaves it late. The visitors should’ve won the game in truth, they squandered two golden chances. They’ll feel a bit better leaving with a point, but will feel they should’ve won.

A draw is a fair result that should frustrate both teams. New York could’ve won it had they held on, but didn’t. Now both teams will need to work on being more clinical in front of goal. Good thing is that both teams are top-4 in the East heading into the international break.

Expect more fun games between these two. Whether it’s in the postseason or other competition, these two teams are evenly matched in many ways. Next meeting is in October, which could decided playoff places.
Embed from Getty Images