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Olave’s blast earns Red Bulls a draw vs. the Crew

Tim Cahill, Jamison Olave, Jonny Steele

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HARRISON, N.J. — Needing a goal to rescue a point, the ball fell to a player few would have expected to pull off the move that came next.

In second-half stoppage time, Red Bulls defender Jamison Olave collected a flicked cross from teammate Johnny Steele, controlled it with the poise of a veteran forward, and fired home a stoppage-time equalizer to help the Red Bulls salvage a 2-2 draw at Red Bull Arena.

Thierry Henry also scored for the home side, and Crew forwards Federico Higuain and Dominic Oduro scored for the visitors, who came away with a point despite missing standouts Jairo Arrieta and Chad Marshall.

The Red Bulls looked destined for their first loss since early April before Olave stepped up to help extend New York’s unbeaten streak to seven matches.

“When I saw the ball up high I wanted to place it down to Fabian,” Olave said via a translator. “When the defender closed in on me, I just brought it in with my right foot, and was able to put in a good shot with my left foot. Thankfully I was able to put it in.”

The complexion of the match changed in the second half with a controversial penalty called on the Red Bulls in the 73rd minute. Justin Meram shanked a wide-open look on goal, but fell in a heap after Kosuke Kimura made contact with him after the shot. The whistle blew and penalty kick was awarded, which led to a post-game tirade from Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke about the referee’s decision.

“(Meram) miss-hits the ball, and then there’s contact,” Petke said in his post-match press conference. “That’s a guy [the referee], in my estimation, who is probably getting ready for the Memorial Day weekend, and wants to be part of the show. I could care less what the league fines me, and what they say.

“Those decisions, those type of things, cost jobs.”

The Crew needed just two minutes to score the game’s opening goal. A poor clearance from Olave fell to Crew midfielder Eddie Gaven, who found the feet of Oduro. Oduro weaved through traffic in the second minute before scoring into the far corner, taking a hard challenge from Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles in the process.

“I tried to finesse the ball a little bit which is really good, it went in the net, but the goalie got me with his knee, which really hurts,” Oduro said.

Oduro was forced off in the eighth minute, taking the Crew’s best strike option out of the game. Slowly the Red Bulls worked their way back into the match, and in the 31st minute, Tim Cahill sent a curling ball from midfield towards Henry, who chipped the ball beautifully over Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum for New York’s first goal.

Higuain stepped up for the Crew after the penalty kick was called and made amends for his miss in the last match between these teams, powering the penalty past Robles to make the score 2-1.

“You are going to have some calls going for you, some against you, I don’t question the referee’s decision, Crew head coach Robert Warzycha said. “I think there was contact with the ball and (the ref) has the right to call it. Too bad it was against (Petke).”

Following the goal, the Red Bulls began to push the defensive line forward, leading to more chances on goal. In the 85th minute, the Red Bulls nearly equalized, as a corner kick was flicked on towards goal past Gruenebaum, but Crew defender Kevan George cleared the ball off the line.

In the 90th minute, after constant pressure, Olave was on hand to save the day, taking a flicked cross from Johnny Steele, settling the ball, and then finishing into the far corner of the net with a left-footed blast.

“We rescued a point, and more than rescuing a point we feel like we lost two points,” Olave said. “We’re at home and we should always play to win at home. It’s a shame the way we played, however, it was a good effort at the end.”

Just seconds later, the Red Bulls could have won the match if not for a desperation slide tackle from Crew defender Tyson Wahl, stopping point blank chances from Juninho and Tim Cahill.

Petke accurately summed up his feelings on the outcome.

“I’m not blaming the refs for us not winning, I don’t think we did enough to deserve to win,” Petke said with a shake of the head.

“To give them that PK call…shocking.”


  1. I was at the game. The “penalty” occurred right in front of me. If that was a penalty, I’m the Easter Bunny.

    Plus chalk up another one to inept Red Bulls marketing. I would have loved to have a printed program for the game. I bet many other fans would like one too. Instead, we were treated to free samples of “The Red Bulletin” — a publication touting Red Bull sponsorships of mountain biking and extreme-type sports events.

    Red Bull really has no understanding of the U.S. Soccer fan and doesn’t really seem to have any interest in developing one. Sad indeed. One has to believe with some good management, the franshise could really do quite well. Now the acid test with NYCFC. Do Red Bull rise to the occasion or wither away? Remains to be seen.

  2. And just to flog a dead horse, the Columbus coach is sympathetic to Petke going crazy about the penalty kick:

    “I think he has the right to be ballistic,” Crew coach Robert Warzycha said after the match, “but obviously you’re going to have some calls going for you and going against you. I don’t question the referee’s decision; I think there was contact over there and he has the right to call it.

    “Too bad it was against him.”

  3. Two games? Try more, Arrieta got two for nothing compared to what Henry did. And Cahill dude could get 1 game too for some of the cheap shots he took. And the Petke berating Higuain at mid field after the game. Classy, course that is par for the course with Petke.

    • I’d like to know what Petke was saying. Often you see opposing players joking, discussing (making dinner plans?) after a game, but I couldn’t tell what Petke and Higuain were doing–did they ever play against one another?

    • I like Petke (not a RBNY fan), but he needs to grow up pretty quick. You can berate the officials and complain about calls, but players on the other team is too much. Clearly looks like a shell coach the way the Miami Heat coach is.

  4. Was the Henry elbow on kevan George late in the game? After the tying goal, the crew telecast shows George bleeding profusely from the temple. Blood running down his chin. No replay. No mention of why he happened to be bleeding. Unless it was incidental, it’s definately suspension material. i guess we will have to see the replay to know for sure.
    Overall good road point for the crew against a tuff opponent.

  5. I’m fine with only getting a point. They just didn’t play well enough and have themselves to blame. Bad games happen.

  6. I was pissed for 3 reasons.
    1) RB did not really play hard enough until their backs were against the wall.Too many long balls and give sways
    2) That was NOT a Pk since the clown had already blown his shot. it was an attack by RB defender AFTER the play

    3) Henry will miss at least the next 2 games..Yes you heard it here 1st. He clearly deliberately elbowed the Crew defender with malice. as soon as MLS reviews that they will say so
    That is the Problem with Henry. as good as he is and he is brilliant (@ times) He also has a dark side.

    • 2. It wouldn’t matter if the ball was in the OTHER penalty area. It’s a charge from behind in the Penalty Area, the result is a PK. It’s just that simple.

  7. didn’t think it was a penalty…i was at the game and didn’t think it was and after seeing the replay, i still don’t think so….meram missed the shot already….at least we tied, so i guess that is the justice….

    • I was also at the game and agree with you. A weak call but that’s futbol. He missed the shot before he was hit. The “foul in the area” is nonsense because the game would be a pk shootout for 90 minutes.

      • It’s still the correct call though. You don’t have to like it to understand a foul in the box can still be called when it occurs, regardless of when

  8. It troubles me that I pay for a ticket and I cannot see the replay of a crucial call. I had to call a friend who was watching at home to get the skinny on the (blown) PK call. Freddy apparently shot the ball before he was run into by the defender.

    They should change the policy and show the replay.

      • No he’s correct. The ball could be on the other side of the pitch, it’s still a penalty kick.

        He was charged from behind you cannot get more simple than that.

      • It was indeed a foul in the box. When you shank your shot and then stop dead in order to draw contact and then dive, it is a foul. Not on the defender.
        But referees miss calls; it probably looked better from behind the play. What are you gonna do?

      • He had to stop to get his foot on the ball, he couldn’t see Kimura charging in from behind to take him out. If this happened on the other end with Henry getting wiped out you would undoubtedly think it a justified PK.

    • Kimura plowed right through Meram, it was an obvious foul. A foul in the box while the ball is in play is a penalty. There should be no controversy behind the call.

      It was not a red card because it did not take away a scoring opportunity.

      • wow
        he missed his shot, then crumbled to the ground after mild contact to his back with his hands in the air. you are nuts

      • Go watch the replay again and again and again if you need to. Kimura was trying to shoulder check him and ended up hitting him square in his back. His arms were not in the air until he went to ground and flipped over. Your view is obviously biased.

      • But your view, somehow, is not biased. Good grief. You have posted about a dozen times complaining about the penalty your team was GIVEN. You may have the gimme goal or the cold comfort of complaining about the call, but you may not have both.

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