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New York City FC 2, Columbus Crew SC 2 | 2017 MLS Match Recap

FLUSHING – David Villa brought his magic from the Bronx to Queens, striking for a brace, but former New York City FC defender Josh Williams netted the second-half equalizer as NYCFC and Columbus Crew SC played to a 2-2 draw at Citi Field on Decision Day presented by AT&T.

Ola Kamara put the visitors in front on 11 minutes, receiving a lobbed pass from Federico Higuain and slotting a first-time left-footed shot into the net for his 18th goal of the season.

Villa responded seven minutes later, latching onto a Maxi Moralez corner kick and powerfully heading past Zack Steffen to level for NYCFC.

Villa netted his second goal just before halftime, running onto an attempted headed clearance by Harrison Afful, then running at the defender before scoring off Steffen and inside the near post for his 22nd goal of the season.

Williams punished his former team, beating NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson to the ball to get his head on a Higuain corner kick for his third goal of the season in the 59th minute.

Villa had a chance to score the hat trick and secure all three points, but his stoppage-time penalty kick was saved by a diving Steffen. 

Goals

  • 11’ – CLB – Ola Kamara WATCH
  • 18’ – NYC – David Villa WATCH
  • 45’ – NYC – David Villa WATCH 
  • 59’ – NYC – Josh Williams WATCH 

Three Things

  1. VILLA THE MVP?: There were shouts in the NYCFC dressing room, and in the post-match press conference with Patrick Vieira, for David Villa to be named MLS MVP for a second consecutive year. The captain certainly ended the regular season on a bright note, netting a brace – his 21st and 22nd goals of the season – after scoring just once in his last six matches. If not for a diving save by Zack Steffen on a stoppage-time penalty kick, Villa would have had the second hat trick of his MLS career.
  2. IRON-CLAD CALLENS: Alexander Callens playing the entire 90 minutes in central defense for NYCFC in the regular-season finale isn’t necessary news in itself. But it meant that the left-footed Peruvian international became the only field player in MLS this season to play all 90 minutes in all 34 matches.
  3. FEDERICO THE FABULOUS: Once again, Federico Higuain was highly influential for Crew SC as Pipa tallied a pair of assists, closing out the regular season with seven helpers in the last four games. It was the third multi-assist game of the year for the Argentine maestro, a very good sign for Crew SC heading into the postseason. 

Next Up

  • NYC: TBD, Eastern Conference Semifinals Leg 1 (at winner of CHI-NY on Wed. October 25)
  • CLB: at Atlanta United, Eastern Conference Knockout Round (7pm ET | ESPN2, UniMás; TSN, TVAS)
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