COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Red Bulls’ late-season swoon continued Saturday night as they lost at Columbus Crew, 3-2, at MAPFRE Stadium.
Federico Higuain set up up all three goals as the Red Bulls failed to record a victory in their seventh consecutive game in all competitions.
They are 0-3-4 during that span, which includes a 2-1 defeat to Sporting Kansas City in the Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup final Wednesday.
Clinging to the sixth and final playoff position in the Eastern Conference, the Red Bulls (42 points) fell 12-11-6, 42 points) need a win in the worst way with the seventh-place Montreal Impact (11-12-6, 39) within striking range. Fifth-place Columbus (14-12-5, 47) has only three games remaining in the regular season.
Jonathan Mensah tallied his second goal of the season six minutes into the match when he headed a Higuain free kick past goalkeeper Luis Robles for a 1-0 advantage.
New York striker Bradley Wright-Phillips equalized in the 14th minute. Sean Davis forced a turnover in the Crew’s defensive third and the midfielder slid a pass to Wright-Phillips, who turned and slotted a low shot inside the far post for his 16th goal.
In the 54th minute, Justin Meram raced onto a Higuain pass, cut inside of Fidel Escobar and fired inside the far post from 16 yards out to give the hosts a 2-1 lead.
After Josh Williams flicked in a Higuain corner kick at the near post to double Columbus’ lead to 3-1 in the 67th minute, second-half substitute Gonzalo Veron converted a penalty kick in the 72nd minute following Video Review for what proved to be the final score.