Gyasi Zardes and Lucas Zelarayan both found the back of the net as the Columbus Crew defeated the New York Red Bulls 2-0 Thursday night in their second game of the MLS Is Back Tournament. The Crew finished with 11 shots, 3 of which were on goal, while the Red Bulls finished with an uncharacteristic 0 attempts at goal.
Off of a Chris Cadden throw-in in the 22nd, Zardes easily managed to find and exploit the gap in the Red Bulls defense. Pedro Santos received the throw-in, found the gap and slid a pinpoint through ball to a wide open Zardes. Zardes only needed one touch with his left foot to strike it past New York’s keeper, David Jensen and put the Crew up 1-0.
The Red Bulls looked devoid of creativity when it came to shooting and the Crew took full advantage. The second goal for Columbus came in the 47th. Former Red Bulls player Derrick Etienne Jr. provided the assist after Amro Tarek’s clearance struck off Etienne and the Crew defender took off downfield. A low cross found the feet of Zelarayan at the 22 yard line and he was able to find the bottom left corner of the goal to double the Crew’s lead.
The Crew now take the outright lead of Group E with 6 points and are clear through to the knockout stage. The Red Bulls are tied on points with Cincinnati at 3 a piece and Atlanta United have lost both of their games. New York will play their next and final game of the group stages Wednesday against Cincinnati. The top two teams from each of the six groups will advance, which means this next game is a must win for the Red Bulls.
Edited by Nick Sbordone