Coming off of a 2-2 draw against Toronto FC on Saturday, Columbus Crew SC shifted its focus to the midweek match against New York City FC, who sat in the third spot in the Eastern Conference. Unbeaten in six, Columbus looked to extend the team’s streak to seven games with a win in the Bronx.
That was not in the cards, however after a first half goal from the home side doomed the Black & Gold to a 1-0 loss.
New York City took control early in the match, getting the possession needed to throw the Crew off of its game. Within the first four minutes of the match, NYCFC was able to fire two good shots, but fortunately for Columbus they did not find the back of the net.
Goalkeeper Eloy Room was really tested for the first time in the match in the 10th minute. City kept possession and threw forward the attack. Room was forced to make a diving save to his right to keep the match scoreless.
Columbus had a good chance in the 18th minute, when Luis Argudo found Romario Williams inside the penalty area. The cross found the foot of the Jamaican international, but the attempt was just high and wide of the net.
On the right field foul line at Yankee Stadium, Room was forced into another save in the 19th minute when a corner kick found the foot of Alexander Ring, who volleyed his shot on target, but was eventually knocked out for another corner kick.
The Crew had its first corner of the night in the 32nd minute. After giving up so much possession and defending heavily, the Black & Gold finally had something going on the offense.
NYCFC finally got the breakthrough just 10 minutes before the halftime whistle, with Valentin Castellanos beating the offside trap and slotting the ball into the back of the net, giving the Pigeons a 1-0 lead.
Harrison Afful called for a penalty just before the halftime whistle, as he was taken down inside of the penalty area, but referee Allen Chapman didn’t fall for it, ultimately blowing the whistle to end the first half.
Columbus had 45 minutes to fight from behind being down 1-0, looking for another comeback result.
The Black & Gold started the second half on the right foot. David Accam got off a solid shot on goal in the 47th minute after dancing around two defenders to test goalkeeper Sean Johnson just inside the penalty area.
The inclusion of Pedro Santos after the half really lifted the Crew offense. The energy in the second half was different than the first half, with Columbus on the attacking front more.
Romario Williams, who made his first Crew start, was replaced in the 60th minute by Jordan Hamilton, who was making his debut with Columbus.
The Black & Gold were furious over a non-call against NYCFC when Castellanos interfered with Room. Chapman whistled for a corner kick in favor of the Pigeons, and got it right. Jonathan Mensah gave the City forward a nudge in the back, sending him into Room. The Curaçao net minder was then cautioned for his outburst.
Columbus had a good chance in the 69th minute, when David Accam went in on goal against Johnson. The shot from the Ghanaian winger was deflected by Johnson, which then was headed out of play by Hamilton.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Columbus put on a show in the last five minutes of the match, breaking apart from the defense and containing possession. Multiple passes and shots came from the wings, but nothing came of the attempts.
Despite having an electric second half, the Crew could not find an equalizer after numerous attempts. NYCFC went on to win the match 1-0. This win was the first time New York City shutout an opponent since July against the Seattle Sounders.
Unbeaten streak stops at six
The Black & Gold were doing well in their last few matches, racking up a six-game unbeaten streak. With the loss to New York City FC, the Crew now have no luck in making the postseason for the third consecutive year.
Normal starters rested
Head coach Caleb Porter made a huge shakeup to the lineup ahead of the match, leaving out Will Trapp and Pedro Santos who were named to the bench. Forward Gyasi Zardes did not make the trip, as he stayed back to rest before the Hell is Real rematch on Sunday against FC Cincinnati.
Crew SC travel down I-71 S to Nippert Stadium as they square off against FC Cincy for the second and final time this season. The match will be shown on Fox Sports 1 (FS1). Kickoff is slated for 6pm EST.