COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew SC suffered its first home loss of the 2017 Major League Soccer regular season at the hands of New York City FC on Saturday night. The two clubs went back and forth in a contest that ended 3-2 as Federico Higuaín and Ola Kamara scored for Columbus in the match.
The Black & Gold fell behind early due to a Jack Harrison goal in the eighth minute. The New York City forward received a through-ball in the box from midfielder Maximiliano Morález and finished with a chip over the head of Crew SC goalkeeper Zack Steffen.
Higuaín equalized shortly thereafter for Crew SC in the 29th minute off assists from Jukka Raitala and Justin Meram. The Argentinian veteran sent the Nordecke into a frenzy with a rocket of a left-footed volley. Higuaín scored for the first time in more than a month, with his last goal coming against DC United on March 18.
Kamara pushed the Black & Gold ahead with a goal in the 49th minute. Ethan Finlay intercepted a pass from New York City goalkeeper Sean Johnson and crossed the ball in. Kamara finished after a Higuaín dummy and Crew SC took the lead, 2-1.
The assist put Finlay among rare company in the history of Crew SC. He is now a member of the 30-30 club in terms of goals and assists. Only four other players have achieved that feat: Jeff Cunningham (64 goals, 44 assists), Brian McBride (62 goals, 45 assists), Guillermo Barros Schelotto (33 goals, 41 asissts) and current teammate Higuaín (40 goals, 39 assists).
Finlay has had success in the past against New York City, scoring three goals and two assists coming into the match. This was Finlay’s first start since April 8 against the Chicago Fire.
New York City brought the contest back to equal in the 64th minute thanks to a Yangel Herrera header that was the result of a cross by Ben Sweat. Herrera paid the price and went head to head with Raitala but the shot found the net.
Harrison scored once again in the 76th minute to put New York City ahead 3-2. Herrera quickly won the ball in Crew SC's end and sent the ball to Harrison, who rolled the ball inside the far post.
Crew SC outshot New York City in the high-scoring contest, 12-10. The Black & Gold also recorded five shots on target to tie NYCFC, and attempted more corner kicks with a count of five to three.
8’ – NYC – Jack Harrison (Maximiliano Morález)
29’ – CLB – Federico Higuaín (Jukka Raitala, Justin Meram)
49’ – CLB – Ola Kamara (Ethan Finlay)
64’ – NYC – Yangel Herrera (Ben Sweat, Alexander Ring)
76’ – NYC – Jack Harrison (Yangel Herrera)
Forward Kekuta Manneh made his Crew SC debut in the match against New York City. Manneh entered the game in the 81st minute as a substitution for Finlay. The 23-year-old was acquired from Vancouver in a trade on March 30.
Defender Jonathan Mensah returned from injury on Saturday night and saw his first action since March 25 against the Portland Timbers. Mensah had been suffering from a right thigh strain during the past 4 Crew SC matches. He played all 90 minutes in his return match.
Dangerous at home
The Black & Gold continued their scoring potency in home matches with two goals against New York City. They entered the match in the top-5 of the MLS in terms of home scoring with eight goals.
Crew SC will remain at home for next week’s matchup against the New England Revolution on May 6 at 7:30 p.m. ET at MAPFRE Stadium.