NYCFC Goals: Tajouri-Shradi 53'
Columbus Goals: Afful 61', Meram 63'
New York City FC fell to a 2-1 defeat on the road at Columbus Crew SC.
Ismael Tajouri-Shradi had given Dome Torrent's side the lead with his 11th goal of the campaign on 53' but two goals in two minutes from Harrison Afful and Justin Meram on 61' and 63' gave Columbus the three points.
New York City FC traveled to Columbus aiming to channel the spirit shown in the nine-man stand vs. Red Bulls ten days previously.
Without the suspended Eloi Amagat and Ebenezer Ofori, as well as the injured Jo Inge Berget and Jesus Medina, it was a patched up City side which started vs. the Crew with three changes (McNamara, Matarrita and Wallace in).
An end-to-end first ’45 brought no goals but plenty of opportunities at both sides of the field, with Sebastien Ibeagha going close first with a towering header after David Villa had flicked on a Maxi Moralez corner early on.
In the other box, Columbus forward Gyasi Zardes felt he should have earned his side a penalty when he went down under pressure from Ronald Matarrita, but the referee looked the other way.
Villa attempted a trademark chip on 26’ which Zack Steffen patted down and saved, before the Crew took charge of the final 15’ of the first half.
Justin Meram was at the heart of Columbus’s best moves, forcing two outstanding saves from Sean Johnson on 33’ and 42’.
Goalless at the interval, but it didn’t stay that way for long, with NYCFC taking the lead just seven minutes into the second half through Tajouri-Shradi.
Alex Ring won the ball on 53’ and played it off to Maxi Moralez who carried the ball up the field and played the ball onto Anton Tinnerholm, who forced the rebound to Isi who did the rest, opening up his body and dispatching the ball into the corner.
It was a slightly fortuitous lead on the balance of play but it wouldn’t last, with Columbus scoring twice inside two minutes to turn the game on its head.
The first was a stunning piece of technique from Harrison Afful, who volleyed in from 25 yards, before Meram made it 2-1 with a back post header from a setpiece, although replays showed he did appear to climb on Ibeagha before meeting the cross.
There was no review on the incident, so NYCFC were left with 30’ to find a response, with Taty Castellanos being introduced from the bench.
Jonathan Lewis came on and almost made an immediate impact, forcing the ball into the back of the net on 84’ (though it was correctly disallowed for offside), before he headed the ball against a Columbus arm, but the referee did not award a penalty.
In four minutes of stoppage-time at the end of the game, Gregg Berhalter's men ran down the clock with substitutions and keep-ball tactics in the corner to get over the line.
NYCFC.com Star of the Game
Maxi did most of the work for NYCFC’s goal and was a livewire throughout, carrying the creative threat from the road team.
The fact that the Argentine was repeatedly targeted by the Columbus midfield for niggly fouls around the halfway line just showed how worried the hosts were by the excellent Moralez.
Stats and Milestones
- City still lie in third place in the Eastern Conference and are now fourth in the Supporters Shield standings
- NYCFC are still seven points off the top of the Eastern Conference
- This was City’s second-successive road defeat, following the 2-0 in Philadelphia
- Tajouri-Shradi is NYCFC’s top scorer again with 11 goals
How they lined up…
NYCFC XI: Johnson, Tinnerholm, Ibeagha, Chanot, Matarrita (Lewis 78'), Ring, McNamara (Castellanos 67'), Moralez, Tajouri-Shradi, Wallace (Sweat 46'), Villa (C)
Subs: Stuver, Awuah, Bedoya
The Boys in Blue return to action on this coming Wednesday September 5 when New England are the visitors.