Thursday, September 18, 2008

Eh, why not, a spot of liveblog: NY Red Bulls v. Columbus Crew

I've been watching this game and rather enjoying it, so I thought a little 2nd half liveblog wouldn't be a bad thing. For someone who is always ragging on MLS, I've had fun with this one.

Good attacking football from both sides, and the tempo is high.

I just feel like the one thing they're all missing is that last pass through en route to goal. The final delivery is sloppy, but it'll come in time. Thus, you end up getting guys shooting from range without much menace (except for Angel, whose free-kick was beastly), or you get a lot of goals scored via the old Fifa '98 route: cross from the touchline, get a tap-in or a header from the edge of the 6-yard box.

Maybe I'm wrong. Either way, it's been a good 'un so far. 1-1 at halftime, and they're getting ready to come back...

Follow along if you're around, after the jump.

Starting XIs:
New York Red Bulls:
18 - Jon Conway (GK)
2 - Kevin Goldthwaite
6 - Seth Stammler
7 - Mike Magee
9 - Juan Pablo Angel
13 - Jorge Rojas
17 - Gabriel Cichero
19 - Dane Richards
23 - Juan Pietravallo
27 - Andrew Boyens
60 - Jeff Parke

1 - Danny Cepero (GK)
4 - Carlos Mendes
8 - Sinisa Ubiparipovic
12 - Danleigh Borman
15 - John Wolyniec
32 - Luke Sassano
33 - Chris Leitch
Columbus Crew:
1 - William Hesmer (GK)
2 - Frankie Hejduk
4 - Gino Padula
5 - Danny O'Rourke
10 - Alejandro Moreno
11 - Pat Noonan
12 - Eddie Gaven
14 - Chad Marshall
15 - Stefani Miglioranzi (replaced by Ekpo, 20")
16 - Brian Carroll
19 - Robbie Rogers

18 - Kenny Schoeni (GK)
6 - Andy Iro
8 - Duncan Oughton
9 - Jason Garey
17 - Emmanuel Ekpo 20
23 - Ezra Hendrickson
32 - Steven Lenhart

And we're off.

46 mins:
Holy shit... that didn't take long. GOAL COLUMBUS... Robby Rogers, who caused a lot of problems on the left wing, takes the ball with pace and cuts infield, letting fly from 30 yards and sending the ball soaring past Jon Conway.
New York Red Bulls 1, Columbus 2

50 mins:
Rogers and Eddie Gaven are causing nightmares on the flanks for RBNY. Rogers ghosts past Cichero on the left, and the Venezuelan defender decides to stonewall him and send him flying. The crowd wants a penalty; the ref gives it where he should have given it, just outside. Rogers floats it in but Conway collects easily.

Conway's been rather pants tonight. Caught way out of position on goal #1, arguably on goal #2 as well, and just hasn't looked up for it tonight.

Moreno collects it outside the box dead center and decides to rip a shot with Boyens in his face... narrowly wide.

Sub for RBNY: Woljniec in, Pietravallo out. The salt-and-pepper hair atop the sub is rather hilarious to look at.

Other players who have looked good: Ekpo for Columbus (fast as shit but can't play a good final pass!) and Dane Richards, another lad who is faster than the proverbial speeding bullet but whose passing has the accuracy of a shotgun at long range.

55 mins:
LA Galaxy haven't won since Arena took over? I'm not surprised. Meanwhile, RBNY struggle to have any possession whatsoever. Moreno feeds Ekpo at the edge of the box, his thunderous shot is blocked and loops high and harmlessly towards the touchline. Conway canters across to collect under no pressure, but misjudges it and it dinks off him for a corner.

Corner doesn't amount to much, although the clearance is weak, and when Gaven gets it in the box again, his shot is rather weak and smothered easily.

57 mins:
RBNY cough it up again cheaply in midfield, and Brian Carroll jogs towards goal and shoots from 35 yards. It loops wide. What is with all this long-range shooting? A lot easier to score if you're close.

60 mins:
Harkes (I think it's Harkes) posits that the way to mark Juan Pablo Angel out of the game is to put two on him; one right in front of him to stop him shooting, and one right behind him to stop him getting the ball. Is he suggesting JPA might enjoy being the Lucky Pierre?

I wish I didn't now have that imagery. Damn you, Harkes. NIGHTMARE FUEL.

61 mins:
The RBNY defensive third of the field is beginning to resemble WW2-era Dresden; it is raining possession and chances on poor Conway's goal, leaving their defense looking rather dilapidated. (That's right folks, a tenuous WW2 reference!) The raiding is halted momentarily by a foul on the edge of the box that gives Conway a chance to clear and breathe a little.

62 mins:
Here come Columbus again. Marshall plays Moreno through, and it's a straight sprint to goal. He holds off the last defender, Conway comes out to greet him on the edge of the box, Moreno dinks it past him to the left and then takes a rather ridiculous dive right over Conway's outstretched body. The crowd becomes apoplectic looking for the penalty, but the ref knows best and awards a goal kick.

Moreno knocked it far too long past Conway to sell the ref on the foul, which was dubious at best to begin with.

RBNY have a corner on the right, which they promptly squander by heading well over the bar.

66 mins:
Columbus spending all their time attacking without difficulty down the wings. A weak cross from Gaven is cleared easily, and Rojas sets off for a sunday job through the entire midfield. He gets some 25 yards virtually untouched, and with 4 Crew defenders in front of him and RBNY players trying to make a break, he takes a speculative shot from range. Not far over, either, but leaving his teammates looking rather frustrated.

RBNY attack again down the left, but Goldthwait tosses up a cross to nowhere.

68 mins:
Cynical that from Dane Richards. A RBNY corner is cleared easily, and Rogers breaks up-field. He knocks it past the first man and turns Richards, whose response is to pull on his shirt until he falls down. Yellow card. Columbus take the free-kick quick and break down the right, the cross in finds Gaven who narrowly heads over.

70 mins:
It's Angel's turn to cross to nowhere. Bit more possession finally for RBNY in this second half, but Columbus have threatened to score a boatload of goals so far in this second half. Will their profligacy in front of goal lead to a soft equalizer?

20 minutes left to find out.

71 mins:
Cute trickery from Ekpo in midfield, but his final pass to Moreno trickles harmlessly through to the keeper. Frustrating stuff from someone who is very, very fun to watch.

I missed a substitution 10 mins ago for RBNY: Mike Magee off, Danleigh Borman off.

72 mins:
It's Hesmer's turn to look like Paul Robinson in goal, as a long, lofted free kick into the box catches him in two minds and he's forced to fumble it out for a corner with 2 Red Bulls giving him pressure. It amounts to nothing.

73 mins:
I'm not watching MLS anymore; it's just the Rogers and Gaven Show. Their link-up play is enjoyable, but Columbus aren't doing anything with it. Wojyniec breaks for RBNY down the left flank, but Hejduk distracts him enough to regain possession. Both teams are passing it around neatly for the most part, but it's not adding up to clear-cut chances.

76 mins:
HOW IN THE NAME OF DAVID BECKHAM DID THEY MISS THAT?!?!?!? Gorgeous play by Columbus. Given time to pass it around on the edge of the box from left to right to left again, Rogers chips the defense and Hejduk beats the offside trap. Through one-on-one on Conway, he hits it right into the goalie, and the ensuing scramble breaks to Rogers on the edge of the box. With plenty of space to shoot at, he scuffs it off the outside of his foot, it takes a deflection and Conway smothers the loose ball. Gilt-edged chance for the Crew.

... immediately from that Wolyniec beats the trap from Rojas's smart angled pass, but Hessmer is equal to it. Welcome back, end-to-end football. I've missed you the last 20 minutes.

80 mins:
Both sides are tired, but RBNY are starting to look more threatening. Still, the final pass is lacking. To prove my hypothesis, Rojas has a chance to spring Angel, but his pass is too strong and despite a spirited chase, it rolls out for a Columbus throw-in.

82 mins:
Sub time for Columbus after a lull in the play. Ekpo is off, with defender Danny Iro coming in. Would be awful to drop 2 points after this performance.

Sigi Schmid has another sub ready in the form of Jason Garey. Who's he replacing?

85 mins:
Dane Richards capitalizes on a gaffe to break down the right wing. All alone, he whips in a quick, low cross but it's easily clear. You can sense Angel's frustration from here.

And just like that... Columbus break and SCORE ANOTHER GOAL. Neat, clinical move, too. Hejduk gets through on the right after a neat chip through by Noonan, he races in on goal with the Goldthwaite breathing down his neck, he waits until Conway comes out before passing across for Gaven, who was wide open and slots it into an empty net. Very nicely done indeed.
New York Red Bulls 1, Columbus Crew 3

Just like that they bring on Garey for Noonan, who's had a quiet game. Not much of note from Pat N.

89 mins:
Frustration and petulance emerge from the RBNY side, who are clearly annoyed at the rather lackluster performance they've put in this evening. Rogers (I think) holds the ball near the left-hand corner flag, slowly sucking time off the clock, and Goldthwait decides he's had enough and takes a wild hack at the back of his leg. A long, swinging kick for no reason whatsoever, and the ref's decision is easy. RED CARD FOR GOLDTHWAIT.

Columbus fans cheer, Goldthwait stomps off. Stupid move late in the game.

90+1 mins:
Roll on full time, please. RBNY are just committing stupid, angry fouls and tension is running a little higher at the game winds down. Hejduk has another run down the wing, but it's broken up by Stammler. Less than a minute to go.

90+2 mins:
O'Rourke skies a shot well over, and we're seconds from the whistle.

A comfortable, richly-deserved win for Columbus at home despite coughing up the early goal. Rogers and Gaven were a constant menace, and RBNY will now have to deal with a suspension for Goldthwait, the guy with the most mins this season, after his idiotic foul at the death.

Final Score: New York Red Bulls 1, Columbus Crew 3

Decent game, that. MLS is slowly winning me over. Sure, it's no Liverpool, but I need to stop the snobbery when it comes to the US version. Still, I'm adamant that they're lacking the final pass. Too many long-range shots and dribbling into two defenders. Still, a good game.

Now it's time to crack into the scotch and watch Gordon Ramsay berate moronic, ornery failing restauranteurs for an hour.


Kopper said...

wow... pretty happening live-blog. I think everyone was burned out from that UEFA Cup business today... I would watch this game if the earthquakes were playing... can't get enough Huckerby.

Lingering Bursitis said...

Not a bad game actually. You'd be doing well to watch if you're able.

Kopper said...

Truth Squad:

Wife is watching a House re-run. I asked if we could watch some soccer, and she asked if Norwich was playing. I told her MLS and she laughed at me and went back to House. I lose.

KnifeHartLane said...


Lingering Bursitis said...

Lucky tonight. Bent scaled that defender like he were Spiderman for that 2nd goal

Goat said...

Damn, I wish I knew you were doing this. I spent the game with the mouth-breathers in SBI's comment section.

Lingering Bursitis said...

Sorry Goat, it was a late, late decision! My apologies! If we do something like this, we'll try and set it up a lot earlier in the day!

How bad was it over there? Not good?

Bigus Dickus said...

Christ you lot must be bored.

Goat said...

LB, apology accepted by I expect a personal phone call the next time you decide to liveblog a Crew game.

ΓΌ75 said...

Talk about imagery you don't want in your head:

slowly sucking time off the clock


The Likely Lad said...

at least he didnt't pull the guy's hair like your lanky dancing pig fuck crouch against trinidad in o6. the us regularly beats t&t without schoolgirl trickery.

Keith said...

can I just say how much of a disappointment Kitchen Nightmares on Fox is compared to its BBC cousin?

Goat said...

Keith, here's a Salon article that makes a similar point:
You'll have to cut and paste, I don't know how to do that fancy-schmancy html stuff. No, I don't work for the McCain campaign. Why do you ask?

Keith said...

I have read that article. and it's pretty spot on. The most annoying part of the Fox version is that he goes "extreme makeover" on the design in the US version, while he actually gets the staff to pitch in on redecorating in the BBC version. That, and the overdramatics.