Well that start of the first leg did not go as planned for the New York Red Bulls. While they did keep their composure and continued to fight throughout the entire match sadly they played behind the eight ball and fell to the Columbus Crew by a final of two goals to nil and lead this series on aggregate.
Just as the match kicked off the Crew found a way to get down the field very quickly and converting on their terms. As the ball was sent deep inside the Red Bulls area, Ethan Finley headed the ball towards Justin Meram and a quick rip just beats Luis Robles to the far post and in eight seconds the Crew had the lead.
It looked like the Red Bulls might survive the night leaving with a one goal deficit, but when Cedrick Mabwati was subbed into the match in the 80th minute; he made some spectacular moves to put himself into a position to score, but instead made a great cross to a wide open Kei Kamara who just tapped it in for the two goal lead and will try to come to Red Bull Arena to finish the job next week.
But while they were down, they were never out and continued to fight to try and get an away goal. Sacha Kljestan three minutes later after Meram’s goal he found a way to get a chance in front of the Crew’s net and ripped a shot that was saved by Steve Clark. Later in the second half a great chance came up again as a long ball was played to Bradley Wright-Phillips.
He saw Kljestan trailed the play and when he got a nice ball, sadly the shot nails the outside of the far post. Luis Robles had some good moments as well to make some big saves, but sadly the Red Bulls for the first time in these playoffs fell behind on aggregate.
The last time a side in the playoffs was down two goals to nil was the San Jose Earthquakes taking on the Kansas City Wizards at Arrowhead as Landon Donovan’s side came back and scored three goals to win the aggregate 3-2. So while some might think it’s not possible, there is evidence that it did happen in the past.
So like last season against the New England Revolution the Red Bulls left the first leg down two goals to one heading to Gillette Stadium to fight back and while it finished at a two all draw, they lost on aggregate 4-3. But this time around Bradley Wright-Phillips will play at home and the second leg will be at sold out Red Bull Arena will be a big advantage for the team that wears Red & White.