Red Bulls 3, Crew 1

Thierry Henry scored two goals and added an assist to lead the

New York Red Bulls to a 3-1 win over the Columbus Crew on Saturday

night.

The victory enabled the Red Bulls (14-7-7) to remain unbeaten at

home this season (10-0-3) and briefly moved New York into second

place in the Eastern Conference. But Chicago beat Montreal 3-1

later Saturday to move back into second place with 50 points – one

behind first-place Sporting Kansas City. New York has 49

points.

”The playoffs start now,” Henry said. ”That’s just the way

the league us. We can’t afford to have a game like this. We didn’t

start the game well and gave them an early goal. We just have to

figure out what the problem is and work it out. When you’re down

early, you have to work even harder.”

The Red Bulls – the only MLS club to remain undefeated at home –

scored twice in the final 12 minutes to secure the win.

New York got the winner in the 79th after Henry had taken a shot

that bounced off the crossbar, giving the Red Bulls a corner kick.

Henry took the attempt and Dax McCarty leaped over the wall to head

it home and past a diving Andy Gruenebaum, who viciously smacked

into the goalpost with his face, forcing him to leave the game with

facial lacerations.

”He’s going to be fine,” Crew head coach Robert Warzycha said.

”It seems like he’s OK. I’m not sure about the goalpost

though.”

Henry then capped the scoring with a nifty corner kick in extra

time from the left sideline that bent to the left and went past

backup goalie Matt Lampson directly into the net.

”I saw (reserve goalkeeper Matt Lampson) was off his line and

was out of the goal too much, so I decided to give it a try,”

Henry said.

”It’s such a rare play that I don’t know if I’ve seen it

before,” said Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe. ”What can you say?

When he’s sharp, it’s tough to stop him. It’s what you want to see

from a player like that.”

Milovan Mirosevic opened the scoring in the third minute for

Columbus (12-10-6), and Henry tied it six minutes later with his

12th of the season.

”We started the game well, but then we gave up that first goal

too quick,” Warzycha said. ”Getting the first goal was what we

wanted then we gave it away.”

The Red Bulls almost scored first in the second minute, when

Henry had a great shot that Crew net minder Gruenebaum made a

diving save on.

It didn’t take long for Columbus to launch a counter attack.

Less than a minute after Henry’s shot, Crew forward Jairo Arrieta

kept the ball for 15 yards then beat Red Bull defender Connor Lade

to the right. Arrieta placed the ball through three Red Bulls

defenders to Mirosevic, who flicked it off his right heel for his

third goal of the season.

The play seemed to catch the Red Bulls by surprise, with New

York’s defenders standing and looking at each other in

disbelief.

The Red Bulls got the equalizer in the ninth minute. Rafa

Marquez, who has played in only nine games this season due to an

assortment of injuries and suspensions and had been out of action

since Aug. 10, made a brilliant play to get the ball to Henry.

Standing behind the midfield stripe, Marquez lifted a 55-yard

pass in front to Henry, who settled the ball with his left foot,

then pushed it past Gruenebaum.

In the 20th, Henry had a breakaway attempt that slid through the

goal crease and Kenny Cooper’s rebound attempt was stopped by a

diving Gruenebaum.

Seven minutes later, Cooper had a great chance, when he hit a

right-footed shot that a diving Gruenebaum deflected wide with his

right hand.

In the 34th minute, Marquez was all alone in the box, but his

shot sailed over the crossbar.

The match remained tied 1-1 at half.

The Red Bulls had two chances on the same attack in the 58th

minute. Lade put the ball in front to a wide open Cooper, but

Cooper whiffed on the shot. The ball went across to Henry and he

passed it back to McCarty, who unleashed a wicked slicing shot from

40 yards out that Gruenebaum was able to dive and get his left hand

on.

”We kept at it and worked hard,” Henry said. ”That’s what we

have to do every game. We cannot afford to fall behind against

Kansas City and expect to have the same result.”