The Columbus Crew suffered a disappointing loss on Saturday, losing 1-0 to the New York Red Bulls in Columbus, despite dominating for large stretches of the match.
The turning point came when a Federico Higuain penalty kick was saved by Red Bull keeper Luis Robles in the 71st minute. Robles guessed correctly and punched the ball away, giving New York momentum it had been lacking for a majority of the match.
Higuain was disappointed with the loss and the penalty miss, but is focused on moving on to next week’s match.
“Very sad after a situation that could have given the Crew the win,” Higuain said through a translator. “But all that’s left after that is to keep working and keep improving.”
Less than 10 minutes later in the 80th minute Tim Cahill scored the winner for New York with a lofting header over the outstretched arms of Andy Gruenebaum. A shot from Jonathan Steele drew the Crew keeper off his line to make the save and he couldn’t recover in time as the rebound fell to Cahill for the match’s only goal.
“We collapsed in and (Steele) was open on the far post and hit it well and I just tried to control the rebound to where it was hopefully going over,” Gruenebaum said. “It kind of just bounced up for him nice and it kind of just carried over me.”
Midfielder Tony Tchani thought the Crew was unlucky to concede a late goal after the way they had played on the day.
“I think the wind kind of took the ball away from Andy,” Tchani said.
A diving save from Robles in the 93rd minute prevented a late Columbus equalizer as the Red Bulls claimed all three points and temporarily move into first place in the Eastern Conference.
It was just the second time in the first 10 games of the season that the Crew failed to score, having previously lost at Chicago 1-0 on April 4.
Columbus’ attacking trio of Higuain, Dominic Oduro and Jairo Arrieta looked the more likely to score, but couldn’t secure the final touch they need to break the tie.
“We played pretty well, against a team with a lot of players that came from different countries and are pretty good we did pretty well,” Crew head coach Robert Warzycha said. “Obviously like I said the penalty changed everything.”
Next up the Crew finish their three-game home stand when the Colorado Rapids come to Columbus May 11 at 7:30 p.m.