New York City FC 2, Columbus Crew SC 0 | MLS Cup Playoffs Recap
It wasn't easy but Columbus Crew SC have made the Eastern Conference Championship for the second time in three seasons. Their 4-1 win in Leg 1 against New York City FC held up on Sunday as NYCFC beat Crew SC 2-0 at Yankee Stadium but lost 4-3 on aggregate.
The scoring started early as Josh Williams was slow to react to a ball in the box and Rodney Wallace beat him to the spot and earned a penalty kick. David Villa finished past Zack Steffen in the 16th minute to heat up proceedings.
The second half started in similar fashion as Andraz Struna took a shot from distance that Jonathan Mensah deflected into his own net. The goal in the 53rd minute brought the home side within one of advancing but they ultimately were not able to get the job done despite many great chances.
Columbus advance to the Conference Championship to face Toronto FC with the first leg taking place at MAPFRE Stadium on November 21.
- NOT ENOUGH FOR NYCFC: Patrick Vieira’s team clearly accomplished what they wanted for much of the match but ultimately it was not enough to get past Columbus. They were on the front foot for much of the match and had two great chances after scoring their second. Jack Harrison blew past Mensah into the open field in the 66th minute but ultimately struck a shot right at Steffen instead of being able to find a teammate. After an amazing individual play to beat Harrison Afful, Wallace struck the post in the 70th minute. With neither chance coming off, NYCFC will head home for the season.
- MENSAH ISSUES: Columbus advanced, but Mensah will have some questions to answer heading into the Toronto matchup. The Ghanaian was at fault for NYC’s only goal in the first leg and then had a shocking deflection on Struna’s goal, bringing his head down to finish in his own net.
Columbus’ form is so completely tied to the version of Jonathan Mensah that shows up for that game.— Andrew King (@AndrewKingMLS) November 5, 2017
- CREW SC, THE FAVORITES: Despite Sunday’s showing, Columbus will have plenty of confidence heading into the Eastern Conference Championship. They start the series at home, like they did against NYCFC, and will get to advance a Toronto side that will be missing Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco as Altidore will be out due to a red card and Giovinco due to yellow card accumulation.
- NYC: End of season
- CLB: Eastern Conference Championship - Tues., Nov. 21 vs. Toronto FC (8 pm ET; ESPN, ESPN Deportes in US | TSN, TVA Sports in Canada)