Columbus, OH – The New York Red Bulls began their 2019 campaign with a 1-1 draw against the Columbus Crew at Mapfre Stadium late Saturday afternoon. Because of an upcoming CONCACAF Champions League match with Santos Laguna on Tuesday night, head coach Chris Armas featured just three players from the starting lineup but still pushed the game and got a result.
Six minutes in, Andreas Ivan put the Red Bulls in the lead with a header that was beautifully served by Florian Valot.
Midway through the half, the Crew responded with pressure of their own. However, with Luis Robles making some key point-blank saves, the Red Bulls defense was able to hold on and keep the Columbus attackers from putting one in the back of the net.
In the 41st minute, Gaston Sauro finally gets Columbus even from a set piece from Gonzalo Higuain. Sauro was able to position himself in front of Michael Murillo, and his header did the rest.
The Red Bulls were able to survive some nervy moments toward a 5-minute stoppage time, but the defense once again comes up huge answering every challenge made by Columbus, securing the 1-1 tie.
Turning Moment of the Match:
With Tyler Adams now playing his trade in Leipzig, the defensive midfield position was a bit of a concern going into this match. Enter Christian Casseres, Jr. who not only performed amicably, but held the position down effectively, cutting off would-be scoring chances for the Crew.
Man of the Match:
Christian Casseres, Jr.
Honorable Mention: Florian Valot
Columbus: Steffen, Francis, Sauro, Mensah, Afful, Trapp, Artur, Mearam, Higuain, Stantos, Zardez – Subs: Bendik, Josh Williams, Clark, Jimenez, Aububakar, Robinho, JJ Williams
New York: Robles, Murillo, Long, Duncan, Tarek, Casseres, Fernandez, Ivan, Valot, Epps, Bezecourt – Subs: Kaku, Nealis, Mines, Muyl, Louro, Parker, Davis
On Saturday, March 16, the Red Bulls head back to Red Bull Arena for their home opener against the San Jose Earthquakes. Kickoff is scheduled at 3:30pm.