Columbus Crew 2 Goals: Mrowka 42', Rayo 53'
New York City Football Club II Goals: Jiménez 10', Shore 12', Myers 30' PK, Arévalo 32', 45'
NYCFC II secured a vital and memorable road win in Ohio on Friday night. Five first half goals gave the Boys in Blue a significant advantage. Jonathan Jiménez opened the scoring with a well-taken finish in the 10th minute. Jonathan Shore doubled the lead two minutes later, before Matt Myers added a third from the penalty spot on the half hour mark. Ronald Arévalo added to the scoring with an effort from halfway two minutes later. Columbus found a route back into the game with a goal of their own in the 42nd minute via Cole Mrowka. Arévalo would extend to advantage in injury time with a well-taken finish. Columbus would find a second goal in the second half through Gibran Rayo. That would be the final goal of the game and confirm a huge win for NYCFC II on the road.
NYCFC II hit the road in search of a valuable three points on Friday with a trip to Columbus, Ohio on the schedule.
The Boys in Blue arrived at the game off the back of a huge victory against Philadelphia Union II last time out, while the Crew 2 had enjoyed similar success against Inter Miami II.
Head Coach Matthew Pilkington made four changes to the starting XI that recorded a 2-0 win against Philadelphia. In came Stevo Bednarsky, Rio Hope-Gund, Drew Bayer, and Andrew Hauschild, in place of Kevin O'Toole, Stephen Turnbull, Justin Haak, and Nico Benalcazar.
The contest began at a frenetic pace, and after Hope-Gund misjudged a loose ball Marco Micaletto nipped in to try and convert from 35 yards, but he could not put his effort on target.
NYCFC II found the perfect response to that close call by finding the game's opening goal. A throw in on the left side and some quick interplay involving Ronald Arévalo allowed the forward to play a brilliant through ball in behind the Crew 2 defense for Jonathan Jiménez to run on through.
After settling the ball, Jiménez fired a low shot through the goalkeeper's legs to give NYCFC the lead. NYCFC II could sense there were more goals to be had, and a misplaced pass out of the back barely two minutes later delivered a second for the Boys in Blue.
Samuel Owes pounced on the loose ball in midfield and played an incisive pass to Arévalo. His trickery took centre stage once more and after the ball popped up in the box Jonathan Shore ran on to it and produced a venomous volley past the goalkeeper.
As both teams sought to catch their breath, the hosts looked for a route back into the contest. Despite producing half chances through Owen Presthus and Gibran Rayo they were unable to find the net.
Instead, it would be NYCFC II that secure the third goal of the game after more impressive play by Arévalo. A neat one two on the edge of the penalty area allowed the wide player to run in behind. Through on goal, his heels were clipped, and the referee awarded a penalty.
Up stepped Matthew Myers, tied for the Golden Boot in MLS Next Pro, to confidently dispatch the spot kick and hand NYCFC II a significant advantage. The chaotic tone to the first half continued as once again NYCFC II found two goals in quick succession, with Arévalo again the architect.
This time he collected a loose ball just inside his own half and after spotting the goalkeeper well outside of his penalty area fired a shot that found its way past Brady Scott and into the net.
The Crew 2 would finally find a goal in the 42nd minute after Cole Mrowka intercepted a clearance on the edge of the area and slotted the ball past Alex Rando.
NYCFC II would find an instant response, however, as Arévalo capped off a brilliant individual performance with a well-worked combination play involving Myers - the winger slamming home an effort from inside the box.
The second half brought with it no changes but an early goal for the hosts after a free kick crashed against the woodwork and Rayo was on hand to convert the rebound from close range.
Crew 2 were buoyed by their goal and sensed the opportunity to score a third. Jordan Knight came close with a right footed shot from inside the penalty area, but it was well saved by Rando.
Pilkington turned to his bench in the 58th minute as he chose to withdraw the impressive Carrizo in place of Piero Elias. The substitute got to work quickly defending NYCFC II's advantage.
The hosts were desperately trying to restore parity and that forced NYCFC II to withstand significant pressure against their goal. When they were able to venture forward, Arévalo was still proving to be a threat.
In the 73rd minute he came but inches away from securing his hat-trick after great combination play with Jiménez. Despite their hard work the post would deny Arévalo his third goal of the night and the match ball.
Pilkington would turn to his bench again during the final ten minutes of regular time to introduce Jonny Lopez in place of Bednarsky. The Boys in Blue were now attempting to find a sixth goal and their vest avenue of attack was counter attacks.
NYCFC II's final sub would see Arévalo leave the game in place of Jack Beer. That would be the final notable act of the contest and confirm a huge 5-2 victory on the road for NYCFC II.
How We Lined Up
Next up for NYCFC II is a meeting with Toronto FC II on Friday, September 15, 2023. Kickoff at Belson Stadium is set for 5:00PM ET.
Watch live on AppleTV and follow our official @NYCFCII Twitter page for updates.
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