New York City Football Club recorded a draw on the road in Columbus on Saturday night. A tight first half saw both sides fashion good opportunities to find the net but the game remained scoreless. The game was turned on its head in the second half after Cucho Hernandez received a second yellow card for a high boot. Six minutes later Justin Haak broke the deadlock with a brilliant finish inside the box. The Crew were able to find an equalizer through Sean Zawadzki’s deflected attempt.
Columbus Crew 1 NYCFC 1
The Boys in Blue traveled to Ohio in search of more success on the road as they took on Columbus Crew at Lower.com Field.
The Boys in Blue secured a 1-0 win on their last away trip against Montréal and now sensed the opportunity to snatch three points away from the Five Boroughs.
Head Coach Nick Cushing made four changes to the team that played a 1-1 draw against Charlotte FC midweek.
In came Kevin O’Toole, Stephen Turnbull, Gabriel Pereira, and Santiago Rodríguez in place of Braian Cufré, Mitja Ilenič, Talles Magno, and Matías Pellegrini.
The hosts started on the front foot and sought to establish an early rhythm in possession, while NYCFC defended diligently as they awaited their chance to strike.
In the 13th minute, a cross from Lucas Zelarayán found the head of Cucho Hernandez in the penalty area. Kevin O’Toole did well to put the forward off and force his effort wide.
When NYCFC did collect the ball they were pressed persistently and consistently by the Crew. After withstanding the early pressure they attempted to foster chances of their own.
Some quick passing around the box saw the ball eventually find its way to Pereira in the middle of the goal, but his effort was charged down.
From the resulting corner, O’Toole was found free at the back post, but his header from 12 yards out was cleared off the line.
Building on that in the 31st minute, a delightful through ball by Pereira put Richy Ledezma in behind, but his chipped effort was blocked by the goalkeeper.
As the half-time whistle approached a long ball found Yaw Yeboah in behind and his shot forced Luis Barraza to claw the ball behind for a corner.
The second half brought about no changes for either side, but an early chance for Zelarayán to break the deadlock from a set piece. The Armenian international’s attempt ended up over the bar.
NYCFC wasted no time in firing back an effort of their own. Once again Periera and Ledezma combined to allow the American a shot at goal. Despite opting for power this time Ledezma was once again denied by Patrick Schulte.
Schulte was again on hand to deny NYCFC in the 55th minute after Rodríguez played a brilliant pass into Pereiera’s path. The Brazilian settled the ball before firing a shot that Schulte palmed away with a strong hand.
The 62nd minute saw Cushing introduce his first two changes of the evening. In came Pellegrini and Thiago Matins for Alfredo Morales and Richy Ledezma, which facilitated Justin Haak moving into midfield.
Pereira was now involved in a 1v1 battle with Schulte, and he almost managed to best his opponent in sensational style after collecting a loose ball inside his own half.
The Brazilian’s audacious attempt was on course to nestle in the net only for Schulte to stretch out a hand and tip it over the bar for a corner kick.
Columbus were dealt a blow in the 68th minute after Cucho Hernandez was shown a second yellow card for a high boot into the face of Maxime Chanot.
It didn’t take long for NYCFC to make the man advantage count and they had the lead in the 75th minute. A looping crossfield ball by Tayvon Gray was delightfully plucked out of the sky by Rodríguez.
He then squared it across the box to Haak, who after taking a touch to control the ball, fired it with the outside of his boot past Schulte in goal.
Cushing opted to make his next change in the 82nd minute with Ilenič replacing the tireless Turnbull in the right wingback position.
Haak’s energy levels appeared limitless and he won a vital 50-50 in midfield before winning a freekick to relieve the pressure from his teammates.
NYCFC’s final substitution window saw Talles Magno and Cufré enter the game in place of Pereira and O’Toole.
Columbus would find an equalizer in the 94th minute after Sean Zawadzki’s shot took a deflection and flew into the net.
A frenetic affair had now unfolded and the Boys in Blue were able to engineer a great chance from a freekick deep into injury time, but Chanot failed to make a clean contact.
The final act of the game saw NYCFC handed a corner, but they could not convert, and that forced both teams to take home a point.
Saturday, July 15, 2023, 7:39pm ET – MLS Regular Season Matchday 26 v. Philadelphia Union | Subaru Park; Chester, Pennsylvania | Broadcast: Apple TV | Radio: nycfc.com/radio