NEW YORK – Columbus Crew SC fell on the road to the New York Red Bulls 2-0 on Saturday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. First-half injuries and a Red Bulls team that hadn't lostl at home since April 2016 silenced Crew SC.
New York (4-3-1, 13 points.) tied Columbus (4-3-1, 13) atop the Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference standings following the contest. This was the first of two meetings this season between the teams.
The Black & Gold were dealt a blow early in the match when midfielder Artur sustained a left wrist injury in the sixth minute while making a defensive play to prevent a New York attack. He was replaced by Mohammed Abu in what became the second fastest substitution in Crew SC history.
The Red Bulls scored first in the 11th minute on an Alex Muyl second-chance goal off a deflected cross that caught Crew SC goalkeeper Zack Steffen off his line. The midfielder was assisted on the strike by defender Kemar Lawrence and fellow-midfielder Sacha Kljestan.
New York doubled its lead in the 38th minute when Daniel Royer penalty kick found the net despite Steffan getting his gloves to it. The converted penalty kick followed an Alex Crognale slide tackle inside the box. Crognale left due to a right ankle injury following the play and was replaced by Josh Williams.
Veteran midfielder Federico Higuaín started his 125th regular-season match as a member of the Black & Gold against New York and played all 90 minutes. Higuaín recorded 38 successful passes on the opposition half, won two take-ons, and made two key passes.
Steffen recorded a handful of highlight-reel saves throughout the match, including retrieving an attempted five-hole shot just feet from the goal-line. His five saves served a career high. The young goalkeeper entered the match in the top-5 in the MLS in terms of saves, shots on target against, and save percentage.
Crew SC continued their masterful passing attack this season, overtaking New York 520-349 in total passes while completing a higher percentage of passes at an 81 percent clip compared to New York’s 68 percent. The Black & Gold won the possession battle with a majority percentage of 59.8.
11’ – NY – Alex Muyl (Kemar Lawrence, Sacha Kljestan)
38’ – NY – Daniel Royer (PK)
Saturday marked the 66th all-time meeting between Crew SC and the Red Bulls. Columbus holds a 26-30-10 record in the matchup.
New York, New York
The 2-0 result in the match was New York’s 18th straight game at Red Bull Arena without a loss. The last loss occurred on April 9, 2016. New York has not allowed a goal at home in four games
Crew SC midfielder and captain Wil Trapp led the MLS in multiple passing categories entering the game after making his 100th appearance as a member of the Black & Gold. Trapp recorded 31 successful passes on the opposition half and 38 passes on his own half.