HARRISON, N.J. - - Two flurries of activity at the end of either half provided all the goals in an exciting hard fought encounter between the Crew and the Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. Despite the loss the Red Bulls remained positive while the Crew were happy to come away with a strong win without some key players.
Robert Warzycha cited that depth after the game, “We have a deep team and we showed that last year, that we will play all the way against the other team,” The Crew head coach said. “I told everybody before the game I have a lot of confidence before coming to this game, we have some players that can score, especially Eddie Gaven.”
Eddie Gaven opened the scoring almost completely against the run of play. Frankie Hejduk made clear just how important it was.
“It was huge, they were dominating a bit like the home team is supposed to be,” Hejduk said. “The home team is supposed to dominate games, especially a team like the Red Bulls, they are a good team and we were sitting back a bit, letting them get a few chances. It was a very opportunistic goal, we had one chance, two chances and then, boom, we scored the goal and then two minutes later we scored another goal so it was 2-0 before you knew it.”
Gaven benefitted from a tactical change by Warzycha after fifteen minutes that saw him move into the withdrawn forward role and ultimately lead to the goal. Even with the decisive opening goal, Gaven was quick to put the team first.
“I don’t really mind, I’m used to going anywhere I need to go so I can help this team, that’s what I do… Like I said just trying to help this team, I was playing out wide, I was playing up top. I’m just going to work hard and do what this team needs me to do.”
Even with three league losses in a row, Hans Backe was clear that he was still impressed with his players.
“It’s a defeat that hurts, that’s for sure,” Backe said. “Probably our best performance so far in this league, if you look at the possession, if you look at creating chances and putting a team like Columbus under pressure like that. I feel a bit sorry for our players because they deserved to win this game.”
Backe was also able to see the bright side in the performance of rookie Tony Tchani who scored his first professional goal after coming on as a late substitute.
“I think he gave me something to think about the way he played because he drives from central midfield and he was strong in the 50-50’s. He will be rather close [to breaking the starting line-up].”
After the hard fought loss, Juan Pablo Angel maintained a confidence about the team delivering quotes with a bloodied cheek after a late collision with Steven Lenhart.
“I think there are some positives,” the Red Bulls captain said. “We still have a number of players out. I think we should be happy that we put together a better performance, we just have to get back again to basics and be a little stronger in terms of not conceding those soft goals anymore.”
For more from Goal.com contributor Terence Steed, follow him on Twitter @Steed19
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