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Columbus Crew vs. New York Red Bulls

(From farthest to closest) Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill, and Frederico Higuain were the top performers of the first half.

Familiar foes, Columbus Crew and New York Red Bulls met for a preseason friendly Friday morning at IMG Academy. Although it was New York’s first game of the preseason and Columbus’ third, the Red Bulls were the victors posting a 2-0 win.

The first half was a very even match, with both sides going close. Tim Cahill had the best opportunity for New York in the 15th minute when midfielder, Lloyd Sam, crossed the ball to the back post where Cahill attempted to volley the ball into the net. He came up just short as the ball careened off the post.

On the other side of the ball, Frederico Higuain was hacked down for a foul just outside the 18-yard box. The Argentine lined up the resulting freekick and curled it just wide of the post.

In the second half, New York subbed off its first team while Columbus kept their first team on until the 61st minute. In the 51st minute Ryan Finley nearly put Columbus ahead with a volley from close range, but the crossbar denied the strike.

New York finally found the back of net in the 80th minute when Nicki Paterson’s free kick was headed in by Ian Christianson. Just seven minutes later, veteran striker Kenny Cooper slipped through the defense, rounded ‘keeper Daniel Withrow and finished with class from a tight angle.

This concluded Columbus Crew’s time at IMG Academy. They return to action in Orlando for the Disney Pro Soccer Classic Feb. 6. The New York Red Bulls also have a break from game action until Feb. 7 when they face Malmo FF at IMG Academy.

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