Crew SC's comeback falls short at Red Bull Arena

A furious second half with a flurry of goals saw Columbus Crew SC's comeback against the New York Red Bulls fall just short at Red Bull Arena on Sunday in Harrison, N.J. Goals by Adam Jahn and Harrison Afful weren't enough to cancel out a Bradley Wright-Phillips brace and Mike Grella strike in Crew SC's 3-2 loss.

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Goalkeeper Brad Stuver and midfielder Cristian Martinez made their first career MLS and Crew SC starts on Sunday, and both were featured in pivotal plays from the opening whistle. 

Inside the opening 10 minutes, Stuver faced an on-rushing Alex Muyl from the right side of the 18-yard box, resulting in a collision and penalty kick for the home side. On the ensuing penalty attempt, Stuver stared down MLS assist-leader Sacha Kljestan from just 12 yards away. Kljestan shot to Stuver's left, seeing him dive to make the save with the ball rolling out for a goal kick.

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The stalemate survived throughout the first half and into the 53rd minute. Grella finished a Kljestan ball into the back of the net from the top of the box to open the scoring. Wright-Phillips found his first goal just five minutes later and struck again in the 70th minute off a corner kick.

With ground to make up in the 73rd minute, Jahn finished a Justin Meram ball for his third goal in the last two games and his fifth goal in his last 10 appearances. It was Meram's career-high 12th assist of the season.


Seven minutes later, Afful burst into the box from the far-side after a cleared corner kick. Michael Parkhurst lofted a ball from the center circle, hitting an in-stride Afful — who one-time chipped New York's Luis Robles to pull within one goal.

Time ran out on Columbus' comeback, giving the Red Bulls just their first win over Crew SC in 2016.

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