NYCFC 4-1 Columbus: Boys In Blue blow away Crew for third straight victory
Photo: Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports

NYCFC rolled past defending MLS Cup champions Columbus Crew 4-1 at Yankee Stadium for their third straight win.

Goals from Valentin Castellanos, Thiago Andrade, Keaton Parks and Santiago Rodriguez, his first for the club, put the Boys In Blue in an insurmountable position. Pedro Santos scored from the penalty spot to spoil the shutout.

Story of the match

Lucas Zelarayan had the first real chance of the game for Columbus in the eighth minute as he fired from just inside the 18-yard box that deflected off the hip of an NYCFC defender. 

The opening goal would come soon after as a poorly defended corner kick by the Crew left two NYCFC attackers coming in on the far post and a precise cross by Jesus Medina met the head of Castellanos, who scored past goalkeeper Eloy Room.

They almost added a second minutes later after a smart reverse ball by Thiago freed Maxi Moralez down the left and his cross found an onrushing Medina, but the Paraguayan’s effort failed to find the target.

In the 35th minute, the Boys In Blue doubled their advantage when they capitalized on a Columbus mistake as a long ball from the midfield landed at the feet of Andrade, who caught Room way off his line and the defenders scrambling to get back. The chip found the back of the net.

In the 51st minute, NYCFC had several chances that Room was able to shut down, but no one followed up to help him out and he was unable to make the second save on a shot from Parks as the hosts made it 3-0.

Columbus then had arguably their best chance of the game five minutes later as Luis Diaz got in down the left and sent in a cross in that ended up at the back post that found Zelarayán, but he dragged his effort wide. 

In the 71st minute, the Boys In Blue found a fourth goal that was initially called offside. Rodriguez shot off of a Room deflected save and buried it. The play went to Video Assistant Referee and the call was quickly reversed.

The Crew thought they had a consolation goal, but a header by Marlon Hairston was called back for offside.  Both Castellanos and Rocha then had chances to make it five late-on but were denied by Room from close range. 

The visitors side did manage to secure a consolation goal deep into injury time after Malte Amundsen conceded a penalty. It was converted by Santos, but did little to change the final outcome that saw NYCFC up to third in the Eastern Conference.

Man of the Match: Thiago Andrade

The young Brazilian was subbed off in the 66th minute, but he played a crucial role in establishing dominance early for NYCFC. He scored the second goal and assisted on the third while producing a 94.4% pass completion percentage.