Columbus Crew Goals: Nagbe 45+3’, Zelarayán 62'
New York City FC Goals: Medina 48'
New York City FC fell to a defeat against Columbus Crew on Saturday evening at Lower.com field. A first-half strike from Darlington Nagbe in injury time gave Crew the advantage, but they were pegged back by Jesús Medina. A free-kick from Lucas Zelarayán in the 62nd minute allowed Columbus to regain the lead and hold out for all three points.
New York City FC were keen to get back to winning ways on Saturday evening with a game against Columbus Crew.
Ronny Deila welcomed Alex Callens back into the starting XI in place of Sebastien Ibeagha. Elsewhere, Gudi Thórarinsson, Jesús Medina and Thiago Andrade came in for Malte Amundsen, Alfredo Morales and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi.
One of those changes almost paid instant dividends when Thórarinsson found Taty Castellanos with a cross just outside the six-yard box.
The Argentine connected well with the ball, but Eloy Room was able to claw it away and keep the scores level.
Thórarinsson typified the team’s bright start, and in the ninth minute, he thought he’d earned his team a penalty.
The 29-year-old fired off a shot that was adjudged to have struck the hand of Crew defender Saad Abdul-Salaam inside the penalty area.
After consultation with VAR, however, it was deemed a freekick, with the resulting effort hitting the wall before being cleared.
At the other end, a counter-attack by the Crew in the 15th minute saw the ball shifted from left to right and Marlon Hairston.
His cross found Miguel Berry free, but Luis Barraza did excellently to palm his effort away from goal and out for a corner.
The 23rd minute saw NYCFC’s next good chance after some quick combination between Thiago and Thórarinsson allowed the latter to get a shot away.
Room was on hand to palm it into the direction of Castellanos’ chest, but he couldn’t adjust in time to convert.
The visitors were ramping up the pressure, and this time it was down the right they were causing Columbus problems.
An overlapping run by Maxi Moralez allowed Medina to slide him in, and his cross found Castellanos free in the box.
A smart block by Room saw the ball fall for Medina to strike, but a last-ditch block also denied him.
The game’s pace rarely relented, and in the 42nd minute, a quick throw-in down the right allowed Moralez to fire off a shot that deflected out for a corner.
The hosts took the lead deep into first-half injury time after Darlington Nagbe spun Callens before driving towards goal and scooping the ball over Barraza.
As the second period began The Boys in Blue again started the brighter side and they were rewarded almost instantly through Medina.
The move began after Nicolás Acevedo stole the ball away from Lucas Zelarayán at the top of the Columbus box.
Some pinball ensued and when it landed to Medina he applied some composure to slot it past a helpless Room in goal.
The momentum was now firmly with NYCFC and chances flew for Moralez and Acevedo. In the 55th minute, a driving run inside by Thiago resulted in a shot at Room’s goal that he beat away.
Columbus were trying to get back into the game when they took the lead against the run of play in an all too familiar way.
Zelarayán, the man that won the last meeting between these two sides with a pair of set-pieces, again stepped up. His shot had too much for Barraza and despite his best efforts to palm it away it ended up in the net.
In response, Ronny Deila turned to his bench and introduced Amundsen, Morales and, Tajouri-Shradi in place of Thórarinsson, Medina, and Acevedo.
NYCFC were presented a great chance in the 78th minute after a corner kick was crossed back in by Thiago. Room palmed it out to Tajouri-Shradi but his effort was dragged wide.
Deila again turned to his bench in the 83rd minute to introduce Santiago Rodriguez in place of Keaton Parks. Unfortunately, Zelarayán's strike proved to be the final goal of the game and consigned NYCFC to a 2-1 defeat on the road.
Heineken Man of the Match
How We Lined Up
Next up for New York City FC is a game against CF Montréal on Wednesday, July 21 at Red Bull Arena with kick-off taking place at 7:30PM ET (YES Network/NYCFC.com/Radio).