Reigning MLS Player of the Week Tim Cahill tallied his third goal of the season in the 80th minute and goalkeeper Luis Robles stopped a penalty kick as the New York Red Bulls recorded their third-straight win with a 1-0 decision over the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium. New York, which has earned victories in four of its last five, is now at 17 points with a 5-4-2 record and in a tie with the Montreal Impact for first place in the Eastern Conference.
Both teams had chances to score in a 0-0 first half. Columbus had an opportunity in the 28th minute when Federico Higuain controlled it down to Dominic Oduro, whose volley zipped over the crossbar. Five minutes later on the other end, Cahill nodded a Brandon Barklage cross wide of the goal.
Crew forward Jairo Arrieta moments after was also off target with his shot in the 35th minute. Cahill again had another chance that went high following an Eric Alexander feed and Jonny Steele dummy.
In the second half, Robles was called upon to parry away an Arrieta blast from long range. Later on, Cahill was able to chest down a Thierry Henry cross but took a heavy touch in the box and the Crew cleared.
Columbus looked like they could take the lead in the 72nd minute, as Barklage tackled Eddie Gaven in the box and referee Armando Villareal pointed to the spot. However, Robles came up big, guessing correctly and pushing aside Higuain’s penalty kick attempt.
Cahill scored his third goal in two games and the eventual winner for the visitors 10 minutes from full time. Lloyd Sam’s deflected cross was headed on by Cahill towards the back post. Steele hit it on the volley and goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum was able to block it. However, Cahill was first to the rebound, heading the ball just under the crossbar and into the net.