REACTION: Late Olave equalizer leaves Crew with point from Red Bull Arena
From start to finish, the 14,840 fans in attendance at Red Bull Arena got their money's worth as the Crew drew the New York Red Bulls, 2-2, on Sunday afternoon.
The Black & Gold struck just one minute and 54 seconds into the match as Dominic Oduro slid his team-leading sixth goal of the season past goalkeeper Luis Robles before colliding with the New York netminder. Eddie Gaven was credited with his fourth assist of 2013 as he collected Jámison Olave's misplaced clearance to feed Oduro in the penalty area. Oduro was forced to leave the match six minutes later, still feeling the effects of his collision with Robles.
"It's a little bit blurry for me, but I think Eddie was able to attack on the ball, just try to get a little bit of a touch and went right in the box," the Ghanaian striker recalled after the match. "I tried to finesse the ball a little bit, which was really good. It went in the net."
Later in the first half, Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill found Thierry Henry with a 40-yard lob onside past the Crew backline. The Frenchman chipped his shot over the head of 'keeper Andy Gruenebaum to level the game before the halftime intermission.
After the break, Justin Meram drew a second-half penalty attempt as he was brought down by New York defender Kosuke Kimura inside the area. In a rematch from May 4 in which Robles saved Federico Higuaín's penalty attempt, the Crew captain converted this time to give the visitors a 2-1 lead after 74 minutes.
But the Black & Gold would have to settle for a point on the as Olave skillfully brought down Jonny Steele's pass inside the box to finish into the top corner of the goal past Gruenebaum to deadlock the match in second-half stoppage time, giving the Crew its first result against the Red Bulls since June 4, 2011.
Rounding out a two-match road trip with four points against the Red Bulls and Toronto FC, the Black & Gold will ride a bit of momentum into next week's home tilt against the Houston Dynamo.
"It was tough after the guys had fought so hard, and feeling like we were so close to being able to get a win here and it ends up being a tie," Gaven said after the match. "It definitely leaves a little bit of a bitter taste in your mouth, but at the same time, being able to get a tie on the road against a good team, we definitely have to try and take the positives from it.
"I feel like we did some good things and we can make it better for our next game at home against Houston."
After leaving within the first 10 minutes of Sunday's match with a thigh contusion, Dominic Oduro is due to be examined further by the Crew's medical staff. While still in pain, Oduro is hopeful the injury is a minor one.
"Right now it hurts," he said. "It really hurts. I can barely walk, but I'll fight through it.
"We're trying to go get a scan to see that it's hopefully just something minor, which I hope it is. Other than that, hopefully I'll just try to rehab it and be ready for next week."