Despite controversy, Olave earns Red Bulls a late 2-2 draw against the Crew

(Photo By: Rob Tringali, Courtesy of New York Red Bulls)

(Photo By: Rob Tringali, Courtesy of New York Red Bulls)

Needing a goal in extra time to keep their five game unbeaten streak alive, the New York Red Bulls turned to one of their most unlikely goalscorers this season – Jamison Olave.

The burly Colombian defender settled a cross in the box like a veteran striker and let loose a cannon past Andy Gruenebaum to deliver a late draw for New York, extending the Red Bulls unbeaten streak and keeping the team atop the Eastern Conference table.

For as pretty a moment as it was, most of the 90 minutes was downright ugly for the home side which nearly left the match with a loss.

“Listen, we’ve had a very good run so far,” Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke observed. “It’s still good we’re still unbeaten. Today, I would say by their estimation as well, it wasn’t good. It goes on me as well as a coach, maybe I didn’t prepare them right this week.

“Maybe we underestimated them,” he continued. “Or just maybe it was just one of those days you have, you know? Yeah we bounced back, we’re down 2-1 at home, of course we’re going to look decent in those moments because we’re pushing everyone forward, but the standard wasn’t, from everything, from the coaches to the players, it wasn’t where it should be today.”

Despite his late game heroics, things didn’t necessarily start off on the right foot for Olave. Two minutes into the match, a poorly cleared header by the big man landed centrally in front of the box. Some traffic and confusion allowed the speedy Dominic Oduro to run into space. There, Olave worked to recover his mistake but was instead turned inside out by the striker, allowing Oduro to beat Luis Robles to his far side.

Oduro collided with Robles on the play and would be forced out of the game by the eighth minute further thinning the Crew’s striking options (Jairo Arrieta missed the match due to suspension).

The Red Bulls would answer in the 31st minute. Tim Cahill pinged a long ball 20 yards shy of the midfield stripe between the Crew centerbacks and into the lane of Thierry Henry. The Red Bulls captain caught Gruenebaum out of his net and sent a one-timed chip over his head to tie the game.

A minute later, it was Cahill again springing Henry into the box. His second attempt skipped right by the front of the goal and was cleared by Columbus.

While the Red Bulls had the better moments in this match, Columbus did an effective job of slowing the pace and winning key physical battles through most of the encounter. The complexion of the game changed, however, in the 73rd minute.

Columbus winger Eddie Gaven led the attack, sprinting in towards the box and sending a feed towards Justin Meram through the legs of Olave. Meram, with a clear shot on net, mistimed the ball, popping it weakly in the air. That didn’t stop Kosuke Kimura from railroading the midfielder from behind, causing Meram to collapse after the shot. That was enough for referee Geoffe Gamble to award a controversial penalty, sending Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke into a maddening state both during and after the match.

“(Meram) miss-hits the ball, and then there’s contact,” Petke said after the match “That’s a guy [the referee], in my estimation, who is probably getting ready for the Memorial Day weekend, and wants to be part of the show. I could care less what the league fines me, and what they say.

“Those decisions, those type of things, cost jobs.”

That decision also allowed Federico Higuain to exact some revenge on Robles, who stoned him on a PK in Columbus just weeks prior. This time, he would not miss.

New York pressed a high line and shelled Columbus for the remainder of the encounter. Late game substitute Juninho had a pair of golden opportunities on net which Gruenebaum was able to get the better of. Olave nearly net the winner on a corner, but his header on net was saved at the goal line by defender Kevin George.

Staying in a forward position, Olave was able to make up for his defensive mistakes. He took a deft touch in the box off of a Jonny Steele cross, settled the ball and powered it past Gruenebaum at the start of extra time stealing a point for New York late in the game.

The Red Bulls now look towards the US Open Cup Wednesday where they host Reading United of the PDL before ending their home-stand against the Vancouver Whitecaps Sunday – their final match before the June break.

  • Despite controversy, Olave earns Red Bulls a late 2-2 draw against the Crew: http://t.co/HGuJEq8YGY #RBNY #Crew96 #MLS #NYvCLB

  • jerichowhiskey

    When Olave scored, I think it was the loudest I have ever heard the stadium become in awhile which was eclipsed by the chaos in the Crew’s box a few minutes later. Ridiculous, but good to take the point and move on from this mess.

  • Chan

    I had a good side view of the PK call. Kimura made it bad for himself by running directly into the attacker’s back. It was a weak call, but that is how it goes. Cbus played better and RB looked a little off the whole game, but managed to get a point. Olave’s goal was a big release for the fans at RBA and it was definitely loud. The front office has to up their game; that attendance on a beautiful day was not acceptable with ny2 on the horizon. Bull: Henry, cow: Kimura.

    • Couldn’t have said it better myself. Way to demonstrate the smashing NY2 going to get. Ugh at least we didn’t lose.