New York City FC Falls to Columbus Crew

Controversial Referee Decisions Mark the End of NYCFC's Winning Streak
New York City FC v New England Revolution
New York City FC v New England Revolution / Andrew Katsampes/ISI Photos/GettyImages

On Friday night, New York City FC faced one of the most thrilling and controversial matches of the season, falling 3-2 to the Columbus Crew in the Bronx. The game, which was expected to celebrate the home team's sixth consecutive victory, turned into a nightmare.

The start of the match already hinted at a long night for both teams. With the kickoff delayed by an hour due to adverse weather conditions, both New York City FC and the Columbus Crew took the field with renewed energy and a relentless attacking disposition. Within five minutes, the Crew almost opened the scoring with Diego Rossi, but a miraculous goal-line save kept the score level.

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New York City FC quickly responded. James Sands found Agustín Ojeda with a masterful pass, but the well-positioned Crew defense managed to prevent the goal. The game's fate began to change in the 39th minute when Mitja Ilenič received a straight red card for denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity. The dismissal left NYCFC with one player less and in an extremely vulnerable position.

Even so, NYCFC showed resilience and managed to open the scoring in the 44th minute with a beautiful goal from Agustín Ojeda, following a brilliant assist from Santiago Rodríguez. The celebration, however, was short-lived. In the second half, the Columbus Crew came back strong and equalized in the 48th minute with Christian Ramirez, following a VAR review.

The Crew's equalizer seemed to destabilize NYCFC, and just five minutes later, Mo Farsi put the visitors ahead. The situation worsened for the home team in the 65th minute when Cucho Hernández converted a penalty, extending the Columbus Crew's lead to 3-1.

Still, NYCFC did not give up. In the 86th minute, Santiago Rodríguez scored a spectacular goal, keeping the fans' hopes alive. The final minutes were intense, with NYCFC surrounding the Crew's area and creating several dangerous chances. Malachi Jones, who came on in the second half, nearly equalized, but the Columbus Crew defense managed to hold the result until the final whistle.

The result was a harsh blow for New York City FC, who saw their winning streak dramatically interrupted. For the Columbus Crew, the victory represents a significant boost in the standings and proof that the team can compete against the best, even in adverse conditions. The away win reflects the team's preparation and well-executed strategy, taking advantage of the opportunities created and maintaining pressure on a depleted NYCFC.