Red Bulls Late Flurry Falls Short

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The New York Red Bulls came up one goal short in the MLS Eastern Conference Finals and the Supporter Shield winners were defeated by Columbus Crew 2-1 on aggregate.

Columbus returns to Ohio with the Eastern Conference Champions trophy and will host MLS Cup December 6, when they will face Western Conference Champs Portland Timbers. Portland topped Dallas 5-3 on aggregate to reach the finals.

Following a 2-0 Leg 1 defeat to Columbus, Red Bulls returned to its Harrison, N.J., home ground needed at least two goals to send the match to overtime. But it was Columbus who dictated the pace early and forced MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Luis Robles into several difficult saves to keep the Crew from scoring that all-important away goal.

With the game scoreless at the half, New York picked up the intensity throughout the second half, but Columbus netminder Steve Clark was not forced into any difficult saves. The Crew also missed several opportunities to put the game out of reach.

It wasn’t until stoppage time that New York would finally get a goal.

Substitute Anatole Bertrand Abang was credited with Red Bulls first goal of the conference finals three minutes into the allotted four minutes of stoppage time. Then, with the seconds ticking down, Bradley Wright-Phillips header kissed off the post and out and the ball was cleared by Kei Kamara.