Tons of story-lines heading into this one, particularly Patrick Vieira’s move to keep Andrea Pirlo on the bench. David Villa was also out of the lineup with an illness and didn’t make the trip. The writing was on the wall for offensive struggles and miscommunication from the visitors, though that wasn’t the case. New York City FC traveled to Columbus Crew Sc and took all three points, with two goals in the second half, in a sometimes sloppy, but exciting match.
Columbus Crew SC were unbeaten at Mapfre Stadium this calendar year. Until today.
29’ Columbus – Federico Higuain finds the equalizer on a well-deserved goal from Columbus, who found success in high pressing and forcing the NYCFC defenders into giveaways.
49’ Columbus – Ola Kamara takes the lead for Columbus, capitalizing on a crucial mistake from NYCFC. Alexander Callens gave the ball away to Ethan Finley right at the edge of the box, who picked out Kamara.
64’ New York City – Yangel Herrera scores on a header from a nice cross by Ben Sweat. Both players made an impact in their first career starts for the team.
76’ New York City – Jack Harrison takes the lead after Herrera took advantage of sloppy distribution from the Crew’s backline.
Player Of The Match
It’d be easy to give this to Jack Harrison, who scored a brace, including the winner, but this one goes to Maxi Moralez. This was easily Maxi’s best performance in his NYCFC career as he found himself all over the pitch. Though Maxi didn’t score, he played the perfect ball to set up Harrison for the team’s first goal and was crucial in the team’s buildup throughout the game. Maxi did an excellent job throughout the entire game roaming in between the line and finding pockets of space in the Crew’s defense, and then playing the ball forward to either Harrison or Wallace. Maxi orchestrated the NYCFC attack all evening.
The perfect start for NYCFC, who found themselves in the lead within the first 10 minutes. Maxi Moralez found himself in a perfect position in the center of the pitch running at the back four of Columbus defenders. No defender stepped up to stop the ball, and Maxi was able to pick out Harrison for the opening goal. Credit to Columbus who responded gallantly, pressing and putting a ton of pressure on NYCFC. The visitors continued to absorb pressure until Columbus found the equalizer in the 29’. NYCFC responded well, dominating possession and dictated the flow for the remainder of the half. The half ended 1-1, a fair result for both sides.
NYCFC came out strong in the second half, but quickly gave up an early 49’ goal after Callens misplayed a ball in the back, leading to an easy finish for Kamara. Credit to NYCFC who didn’t hang their heads, and continued to press and dictate the tempo of the game. NYCFC eventually found their equalizer after Ben Sweat’s cross found Yangel Herrera who headed it home. Herrera had a second half to remember, as he later intercepted a loose ball from a Crew defender and set up Harrison for the winner. Despite giving up a goal early in the half, NYCFC pressed to find the equalizer and ultimately scored the winner.
Next Up: Atlanta United FC
This will be the NYCFC’s first look at one of Major League Soccer’s newest franchises: Atlanta United FC. Atlanta got off to a hot start early in the season and have scored the most goals of any team in MLS this season. Both teams look to play attacking football, but expect Atlanta to take advantage of their pace and hit NYCFC on the counter. It’s shaping up to be an exciting, back-and-forth game with two attacking-minded clubs. Stay tuned!