Red Bulls defender Andrew Gutman (5) during the first half of the MLS soccer game at Lower.com Field. (USA TODAY Photo)
Another game, another lost lead and more lost points.
On Saturday, the Red Bulls squandered a one goal lead against DC United and settled for 1-1 home draw.
On Tuesday, the visitors did themselves worse. Not only did New York lose the lead, but it surrendered twice in the final 16 minutes to suffer a 2-1 defeat to the Columbus Crew at lower.com Field in Columbus, Ohio.
The loss was another nail in the coffin in the Red Bulls’ (6-11-5, 23 points) chances. They haven’t won a road game since July 3 and dropped to 1-8-2 away from Red Bull Arena.
Darlington Nagbe and Miguel Berry did the late damage for Columbus (8-11-6, 30).
New York needs three points in just about every game to get back into the MLS Eastern Conference playoff race.
Red Bulls head coach Gerard Struber sounded exasperated.
“I think you can see that the situation is not easy,” he said. “It’s a very disappointed feeling. I’m speechless.”
Nagbe equalized in the 74th minute as the Red Bulls experienced problems trying to clear the ball, despite some stellar goalkeeping by Carlos Coronel. Nagbe headed the ball home for a 1-1 deadlock.
Berry performed his heroics in the 88th minute after Tom Barlow missed an opportunity for New York. The hosts broke down the field quickly. Lucas Zelarayán fired a shot that Coronel saved as the rebound came to Berry. He made a cut back move and buried the ball into the back of the net.
The game pit a pair of teams struggling to find their form. While the match was hardly anything to write home about, New York will take the three points and move onto its next encounter, a Friday night contest against CF Inter Miami in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The Red Bulls scored against the run of play in the 25th minute as they took advantage of Columbus’ inability to clear the ball out of the box. The ball came to Patryk Klimala, who left-footed a shot into the back of the net for the lead.
Klimala became the first Red Bull to reach five goals this season – in the team’s 22nd game.