Banged-up Columbus Crew can't fault effort in draw at New York, but regret inability to close
The Columbus Crew saw their first signature win of the season evaporate in stoppage time on Sunday, but considering the circumstances and the opponents, a 2-2 draw at Red Bull Arena wasn't all bad.
"We gave up a goal the last minute," Crew coach Robert Warzycha told MLSsoccer.com by phone after the match. "It's a mixed emotion. We're happy with the point here because New York is a good team. But we gave up a late goal. We're disappointed with that.
“They laid it on the line. I can't complain about my players. The energy and attitude were good."
The Crew (4-4-4, 16 points) are now tied for sixth in the Eastern Conference – none of their wins has been against a team with a winning record – alongside New England, but took it to the first-place Red Bulls, even though by the end of the match, they looked like a MASH unit.
It started when forward Dominic Oduro scored in the second minute but suffered a thigh contusion and was replaced five minutes later.
"Right now it really hurts,” the speedster told reporters. “I can barely walk.”
Oduro became the sixth opening-game starter to exit the lineup due to injuries or suspensions although midfielder Danny O'Rourke reduced the number by one when he entered for Matías Sánchez in the 80th minute.
Later, Eddie Gaven went down in the 86th minute holding his left shoulder in a collision in front of the Crew goal as they tried to preserve the one-goal advantage presented to them when Federico Higuaín converted a penalty in the 74th minute.
Gaven stayed in the game and said afterward he is fine but center back Kevan George had to come off the field shortly after Jámison Olave got the equalizer in the 91st minute after being unmarked in the box.
"Those things happen when a team is pressing so hard,” Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum told MLSsoccer.com of the goal, “but we've got to do better closing it out.”