Columbus Crew SC Goals: Artur 26', Santos 50', Zardes 90+3'
NYCFC Goals: Castellanos 55'
New York City FC fell to a 3-1 defeat on the road in Columbus on Sunday night, with Gyasi Zardes scoring the game's crucial fourth goal in stoppage-time after Taty Castellanos had halved the 2-0 deficit shortly after the interval.
Maxi Moralez made his long-awaited comeback from injury off the bench and impressed, but it was the hosts who took the three points at the MAPFRE Stadium.
Maxi Moralez was the headline name on the teamsheet after the Argentine recovered from the knee injury which has kept him out for the past month, but he was fit enough only for a place on the bench, as Ronny Deila made one change to the team which drew 1-1 on the road in Orlando last time out.
Ismael Tajouri-Shradi came in for Gudi Thórarinsson, with Ronald Matarrita moving back to his more familiar left back role. Coming in hot off a strong second half showing at the Exploria Stadium, NYCFC made another strong start forcing a couple of early chances at the MAPFRE Stadium.
Taty Castellanos struck a swerving shot from distance which drew an awkward save from Andrew Tarbell in the Columbus goal, before in-form Keaton Parks also worked the 'keeper with a side-footed effort from outside the area which had to be palmed away.
From there, it was the home side who created the better opportunities in the first half and they took the lead on 26' through Artur.
Sean Johnson had come to his side's rescue on numerous occasions in the minutes leading in, but there was nothing he could do when an Alex Callens tackle fell fortuitously for Artur who slid the ball under the onrushing NYCFC no.1.
Looking for a similar response to the one we saw in Florida in midweek, Jesus Medina put Tarbell into action again early in the second period but the deficit was doubled on 50' on a Columbus break when Pedro Santos beat Johnson with a shot into the roof of the net.
Moralez was introduced for his return on the hour mark and the Argentine made his presence known from the get-go, becoming the central figure for the Boys in Blue as they showed their moxie to get back into the game.
Taty Castellanos halved the arrears with a sweep home from a Moralez corner on 55' and City piled on the pressure for the equalizer, dominating the second period, though sadly without reward.
It was Columbus who would score the game's decisive fourth goal in stoppage-time when Gyasi Zardes netted a rebound from a penalty after Johnson made the initial save, consigning NYC to a 3-1 defeat.
How We Lined Up
New York City FC are back at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, taking on the Montreal Impact at 7:30PM ET (YES Network / NYCFC.com/Radio).