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New York City FC Edged, 3-2, by Columbus Crew

June 14, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
New York City FC News Release

New York City FC suffered a narrow 3-2 defeat against the Columbus Crew on Friday night. A dramatic first 45 minutes would see City reduced to ten men in the 39th minute when Mitja Ileni was shown a straight red card for denial of a goal-scoring opportunity. Despite that, the Boys in Blue would take a first-half lead in the 44th minute through Agustín Ojeda. Columbus would find an equalizer in the 48th minute through Christian Ramirez. The visitors would take the lead in the 53rd minute through Mo Farsi. The Crew would extend their lead from the penalty spot in the 65th minute through Cucho Hernández. City would reduce the deficit in the 86th minute through Santiago Rodríguez.

Match Recap

New York City FC were searching for a sixth successive victory on Friday night as they entertained the Columbus Crew in the Bronx.

Head Coach Nick Cushing made four changes to the side that overcame the San Jose Earthquakes last time out. At the top of the field, Alonso Martínez, fresh from his hat trick in the previous game, came in to replace Jovan Mijatovi?.

Elsewhere, defenders Kevin O'Toole and Thiago Martins were absent through injury and that allowed Strahinja Tanasijevi? and Mitja Ileni? to step in. The final change saw Agustín Ojeda replace compatriot Julián Fernández.

With kickoff pushed back an hour due to a weather delay, both teams were eager to fly out of the blocks when things did get underway. That fast start saw the Crew almost take the lead in the fifth minute after Diego Rossi's low cross found Max Arfsten free at the back post - the winger denied by a brilliant goal-line clearance.

At the other end, a clever through ball by James Sands allowed Ojeda to scamper in behind and produce a low cross into the box. The ball looked destined to land on the foot of Martínez, but a last-minute interception denied the Costa Rican the chance to shoot.

City would come much closer in the 21st minute thanks to good play down the right involving Ileni?, Keaton Parks, and Hannes Wolf. The trio exchanged passes until Wolf was able to get off a low shot that tested Patrick Schulte at his near post.

The Crew would respond with an attack of their own as Arfsten turned provider for Rossi. The Uruguayan's overlapping run was rewarded with a well-timed pass, and although he was able to get a shot off he was denied by Matt Freese.

With the game delicately balanced, Cushing's side almost took the lead in spectacular style through Santiago Rodríguez in the 31st minute. The ball was played back to the forward on the edge of the box and he curled a sensational strike toward goal that rattled the woodwork.

The hosts were beginning to build momentum and barely a minute later they once again came close to breaking the deadlock, this time through Martínez. The Costa Rican did well to generate the space required to shoot, but his effort from a tight angle failed to hit the target.

With City on top, they were dealt a blow in the 39th minute after Ileni? was shown a straight red card for denial of a goal-scoring opportunity. Despite that setback, City would take the lead on the stroke of halftime thanks to a well-worked team goal.

Instigated by Rodríguez's clever pass into the left channel for Martínez, the forward's cheeky back heel put the ball into the path of the onrushing Ojeda, who after driving toward goal fired a low shot into the bottom corner.

The second period saw one change for City as Andrés Perea replaced Ojeda. The visitors would draw level through Christian Ramirez in the 48th minute following consultation with the Video Assistant Referee.

Columbus' bright start to the half would continue when they took the lead in the 53rd minute through Mo Farsi from close range. City were not to be deterred, however, and a great ball in behind for Martínez allowed him to get off a shot that zipped by Schulte's far post.

That would prove to be Martínez's last involvement with Cushing turning to his bench in the 56th minute to replace the Costa Rican with Maxi Moralez.

City almost claimed an equalizer in the wake of that change, with Rodríguez once again the architect. His outside-of-the-boot pass found Wolf in behind, but the midfielder could not convert from a tight angle.

The Crew were awarded a penalty following a lengthy consultation with VAR. Wolf was the man adjudged to have committed the foul and that allowed Hernández to convert from the spot in the 65th minute.

The 74th minute would see Christian McFarlane make his MLS debut as he entered the game alongside Malachi Jones - the pair replacing Tayvon Gray and Wolf. The 17-year-old almost made an instant impact after his devilish delivery found Perea free in the box. Unfortunately, his teammate could not turn it towards goal.

City were still proving a threat despite being a man down, and Jones would be the next City player to come close. A well-worked move created an overload down the right, but Jones' first-time effort failed to hit the target.

Still pushing for a route back into the game, City were rewarded with a second goal in the 86th minute through Rodríguez. The forward was found with a wonderful ball over the top by Moralez, and after rounding Schulte he put the ball into the empty net.

Buoyed by the goal, City continued to push for an equalizer. Several dangerous corners in quick succession tested the resolve of the Columbus defense, but they were ultimately able to clear them.

Jones' pace and trickery down the right was proving a challenge for Columbus, and his low cross almost found McFarlane free at the back post - a last-ditch clearance denying the defender a debut goal.

Unfortunately, an equalizer would not arrive and that forced City to accept a 3-2 defeat to the Crew, a result that ended their winning run in MLS.

What's Next

Next up for New York City FC is a meeting with the LA Galaxy on Wednesday, June 19. Kickoff at Dignity Health Sports Park is scheduled for 10:30PM ET.

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