NYCFC 4-1 Columbus Crew
(NYCFC Goals: Mendoza 45, Harrison 75, Shelton 77, Villa 90)
Match Recap …
Jack Harrison and Khiry Shelton scored two minutes apart late in the second half to lift New York City FC to a 4-1 win over Columbus Crew SC in front of 30,374 at Yankee Stadium Sunday afternoon.
The win in the regular season finale clinched second place in the Eastern Conference for NYCFC, which has a bye into the two-legged Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Harrison broke the one-all tie in the 75th minute when he took a short pass from Frank Lampard and blasted a left-footed shot into the net for his fourth goal of the season.
Two minutes later, Harrison played provider, pushing the ball ahead to Shelton, who slipped a low shot inside the far post from the edge of the 18-yard box for his fourth goal of the campaign.
David Villa put the finishing touches on the celebration in second-half stoppage time with a sensational side volley from just outside the 18-yard box for his 23rd goal of the season.
Steven Mendoza scored his fifth goal of the season just before the stroke of halftime, putting a left-footed volley in from eight yards out. A sublime diagonal ball from RJ Allen to David Villa started the sequence. Villa slipped when receiving the cross, but regained his footing and made a run into the box before somehow sneaking a pass through traffic to Mendoza.
Villa nearly made it 2-0 in the 49th minute, but his chip caromed off the far post and came back across the goal line to ricochet off the near post before the ball was cleared.
Columbus equalized just before the hour mark when Ola Kamara headed in a cross from Justin Meram.
Quote of the Match...
How They Lined Up …
Patrick Vieira made five changes from the squad that lost at D.C. United, 3-1, last Sunday. Eirik Johansen earned his first MLS start, Maxime Chanot returned to the lineup to partner with Frederic Brilliant and Andoni Iraola in central defense, RJ Allen was given the nod at right back, Federico Bravo earned the start in midfield alongside Andrea Pirlo and, back from injury, Steven Mendoza started on the right side of a three-man frontline.
Khiry Shelton came on for Mendoza in the 66th minute as Vieira’s first substitution. Frank Lampard returned from injury to replace Andrea Pirlo in the 73rd minute. Jason Hernandez came on for Harrison in the 82nd for Vieira’s final change.
Man of the Match …
The rookie electrified the crowd and helped settle some nerves with a spectacular effort that saw him score what proved to be the game-winning goal and set up a much-needed insurance marker by Khiry Shelton just two minutes later.
Key Moment …
With Yankee Stadium still buzzing from Harrison’s goal to break a 1-all deadlock, Harrison played a ball to Shelton in space and the pacy winger did the rest, putting a low shot inside the far post from just outside the 18-yard box.
Photo of the Match ...
Stats and Milestones…
- Steven Mendoza scored his fifth goal of the season and fourth at Yankee Stadium.
- David Villa netted his 23rd goal of the season.
- Frank Lampard came off the bench to record two assists.
- Jack Harrison had a goal and an assist.
- NYCFC ends the regular season on an eight-match home unbeaten streak.
What It Means …
NYCFC clinch second place in the Eastern Conference and earn a bye into the Eastern Conference Semifinals, which begin next Sunday at a location to be determined.