John Tolkin scored his first MLS goal and Carlos Coronel made four key saves to help lead the New York Red Bulls to a 1-0 win over the Columbus Crew Wednesday night at Red Bull Arena.
It was a key win for a Red Bulls side that snapped a seven-match winless streak overall and won at home for the first time since a 2-0 victory over Nashville SC on June 18. Meanwhile, the Crew head into Saturday's MLS Cup rematch against Seattle Sounders FC on a five-match winless streak.
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The sequence that led to Tolkin’s goal started with the fullback-turned-midfielder winning a challenge for the ball in his defensive third and ended with him on the end of a combination with Fabio before cutting the ball back to his right to nutmeg Eloy Room in the 33rd minute.
Gyasi Zardes had a golden chance at the equalizer just before halftime when he was played behind the Red Bulls defense and had a breakaway. But Coronel kicked away the low shot and Zardes walked off gingerly, feeling his left hamstring, a worrying sign for Caleb Porter and USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter with World Cup qualifiers coming next month.
Coronel came up big again two minutes into the second half, denying Kevin Molino from close range for the second time. His best save might have come late when Coronel dived to his left to get a hand on a crafty first-time attempt from Bradley Wright-Phillips in his first match back at the building where his number 99 is retired.
The Crew thought they had a stoppage-time equalizer, but Erik Hurtado was called for barging Tolkin over from behind just before the final whistle.
Now, the Crew returns to Lower.com Field on Saturday, August 21 for a 5:30 p.m. ET kickoff against Seattle as part of Youth Soccer Night presented by OhioHealth.