Red Bulls Show Character, Fight in Earning Road Point in Columbus
If there's one thing to say about the 2014 New York Red Bulls through the first nine games, it's that they will not go down without a fight.
On Saturday Columbus became the sixth team to score first against the Red Bulls this season, and the fourth team to see New York come from behind to earn a 1-1 draw.
"I was pleased with many aspects of the performance tonight," Red Bulls coach Mike Petke said afterwards. "Obviously after the first seven minutes we could've - we should've - been up two nothing. I mean, we had two breakaways. And after that, I felt that if we kept that pressure up, if we kept that work rate and we were able to find those little pockets to get the ball, we were going to be OK. We made a mental mistake, give them a penalty kick, and we fought back hard and got the tying goal. So it's a very good point for us."
The home side took advantage of a penalty called against right back Kosuke Kimura to go up 1-0 on a goal by Jairo Arrieta in the first half. However the Red Bulls were able to hold - both through the play of goalkeeper Luis Robles - as well as by limiting the Crew's dangerous attack.
Bradley Wright-Phillips, who scored a hat trick in Wednesday's rout of Houston, made up for two early missed opportunities by scoring the tying goal off a pass from Lloyd Sam 20 minutes into the second half.
"When Lloyd (Sam) is on the ball, I always know he likes to have that end product, he wants to get the ball in," Wright-Phillips said of the goal. "So I just gambled on it, really. I'm not sure if he mis-hit it, but it ended up falling to me. I tried to get a touch on it and get a strike on goal, (because) I think I let two in the first half get away. So I just wanted to get a shot on target."
The goal was just a matter of time, according to Petke.
"When I saw the way we came out, and then actually played the whole first half, I was confident that there would be more chances," said the coach. "Because like I said, the chances we had early on, we should've put them away. But I knew there would be chances, and I think we earned and deserved the point."
For Wright-Phillips, who leads the team with five goals on the year, the result is a product of the team's winning mentality.
"It shows a lot of character from the boys," he said of the draw. "I think that's what happens when you win games, you start thinking that every game you should win. I think that's what we showed by coming back."