A condensed match week saw the Columbus Crew host yet another side above the team in the standings, in hopes to compete with those leading the pack for a potential home playoff game. Coming off of a midweek 2-1 loss to CF Montreal, the Crew welcomed in reigning MLS Cup Champions New York City FC.
It took New York City just four minutes to make things worse than they already were for the Black & Gold when a shot from the left side of the attacking 18-yard box was deflected off of Jonathan Mensah’s foot and into the far post, giving NYCFC a 1-0 lead.
Luis Diaz, who has been silent but deadly as of late, had a good look on goal when he received a pass from Cucho Hernandez to get a shot off with his left foot. However the defense of NYCFC stood tall and was able to toe poke the ball out for a corner kick.
The Crew eventually tied it in the 20th minute when Zelarayan played Diaz through on the right hand side. With smooth composure, Diaz found the oncoming striker in Hernandez with a perfect ball that the Colombian was able to slide home past Johnson to level the game at 1-1.
Columbus capitalized on the high-flying performance after their first goal, grabbing the go-ahead in the 29th minute.
A bad clearance from Johnson let Diaz collect the soft ball about 23 yards from goal. He found Zelarayan waiting just at the edge of the 18-yard box and with his left foot, found the top corner to Johnson's right giving the Black & Gold a 2-1 lead.
The Crew came close to extending their lead in the 38th minute when a low-driven shot by Zelarayan missed the far post by a margin and out for a goal kick. Columbus didn’t let up the pressure, forcing New York to play at their pace when having possession.
The Second half started much like the first, with Columbus allowing New York City to have a decent amount of the ball, but quickly counterattacking when necessary. Long balls played forward to Hernandez seemed to work at certain points but nothing could come of the chances.
City found the equalizer in the 64th minute after another own goal got past Room, this time off of Degenek.
The Crew didn’t give up the fight, however, the second goal did crash the momentum.
Although the spirit was taken out of the game, Columbus found a way back through Zelarayan yet again in the 75th minute. After a blocked free kick, Diaz found the Armenian midfielder just outside the six-yard box for a one time shot past Johnson to make the score 3-2.
After a flurry of chances by both teams, nothing could prosper a response and the Crew were able to secure all three points.
Diaz has a night
Luis Diaz is silent but deadly. When he’s on, he’s on. in this game, he was the star recording the primary assist on all three goals for Columbus. It’s no secret that the Costa Rican has pace, but he’s also a great playmaker.
A bounce back
Columbus faced two teams ahead of them in the standings. Making the condensed schedule this past week a true test. With Columbus gaining three out of a possible six, it could come back to either haunt the Crew or be crucial in their playoff push.
Columbus is on the road again to take on the Gyasi Zardes and the Colorado Rapids next weekend.