Red Bulls beat Crew 2-1, extend lead in Eastern Conference
HARRISON, New Jersey (AP) Bradley Wright-Phillips scored to complete a first half comeback and the New York Red Bulls held on to beat the Columbus Crew 2-1 in Major League Soccer on Saturday to extend its lead at the top of the Eastern Conference.
The playoff-bound Red Bulls have a three-point lead over D.C. United in the Eastern Conference with four games to play.
Crew goalkeeper Steve Clark tried to kick the ball to Harrison Afful, but it was intercepted by a charging Connor Lade. Lade then crossed the ball to Wright-Phillips, who scored off a header in the 21st minute for his 15th goal of the season.
The Crew’s Justin Meram split five defenders, and floated his shot just off defender Damien Perrinelle’s head and through goalkeeper Luis Robles’ hands in the eighth minute to give the Crew an early lead.
Lloyd Sam drew the Red Bulls level 3 minutes later from an assist by Sacha Kljestan.
The Crew have lost consecutive games and are four points behind New York.
Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore scored and Toronto FC beat the Philadelphia Union 3-1 to close in on the first playoff berth in its history.
Giovinco converted a 28th minute free kick from the edge of the penalty box when his shot deflected off Raymon Gaddis in the wall and looped high into the far corner of the goal. Giovinco has 21 goals this season.
Altidore scored in the 63rd, fighting off a defender to tap the ball in for his 12th of the season.
Seb Hines scored on a volley in the 80th minute and Orlando City avoided elimination from the playoff race with a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Impact.
Orlando City entered the game in seventh place, needing at least a draw to remain in the Eastern Conference playoff race. It won its fourth straight and has two games remaining in the season.
Montreal would have clinched a playoff berth with a win, but retained its hold of sixth place and the final playoff position with four games to go.
Cyle Larin opened the scoring for Orlando in the 33rd minute, before Dominic Oduro equalized in the 43rd minute with a loose-ball finish.
David Accam and Harry Shipp scored 8 minutes apart in Chicago’s three-goal second half and the Fire beat New England 3-1 to deny the Revolution a chance to clinch a playoff.
New England took a 1-0 lead in the first half when Chris Tierney fired a beautiful cross from just inside the sideline to the right of Chicago keeper Jon Busch, finding Juan Agudelo in front of the goal mouth in the 31st minute.
Accam found open space in the penalty area and fired a right-footed shot past New England keeper Bobby Shuttleworth to even the score in the 51st minute, and Shipp slotted home the winning goal eight minutes later, threading a shot between Shuttleworth’s legs.
The Vancouver Whitecaps had a 1-1 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes to move within a point of Western Conference Leaders L.A. Galaxy.
Cristian Techera opened the scoring in the 39th minute with a shot from the middle of the box that deflected off defender Shaun Francis’ foot and looped over goalkeeper David Bingham.
Chris Wondolowski scored the equalizer in the 62nd minute, knocking in the rebound after Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted saved Cordell Cato’s narrow-angle shot.
Also Saturday, a late goal by Krisztian Nemeth gave Sporting Kansas City a 1-0 win over the Portland Timbers.