Columbus Crew SC 2, New York City FC 2 | 2019 MLS Match Recap
The home side held their lead until the half, but it was NYCFC's turn in the 57th minute. Heber continued the impressive start to his NYCFC career when he capitalized on an errant — but ultimately fortuitous — touch from teammate Ismael Tajouri-Shradi that put him in on goal to coolly slot past departing Crew 'keeper Zack Steffen, playing his final game for Columbus.
The home side struck back four minutes later thanks to some strong play from both of its wingers. New arrival David Accam pulled a nifty move to get past Alex Ring in the NYCFC midfield before sliding the ball across to a wide-open Santos for the finish past Sean Johnson.
NYCFC would get the last laugh with the best goal of the bunch with 15 minutes remaining. Ring won the ball high up the field and found Valentin Castellanos about 30 yards from the the Crew goal. After taking a touch, the 20-year-old Argentine uncorked a stunning shot to beat Steffen and nestle in the side netting for his third goal of 2019, allowing NYCFC to leave MAPFRE Stadium with a share of the spoils.
- 28' – CLB – Gyasi Zardes | WATCH
- 57' – NYC – Heber | WATCH
- 61' – CLB – Pedro Santos | WATCH
- 75' – NYC – Valentin Castellanos | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: With another devastating injury to a member of their starting XI, Crew SC can't catch a break. But they made their own breaks against one of the hottest teams in MLS in Week 14. They played NYCFC toe-to-toe as they said goodbye to star 'keeper Zack Steffen, who makes his permanent summer move to Manchester City following Gold Cup duty with the US national team. The Cityzens, meanwhile, stretch their current league-best unbeaten run to 9 matches.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: When NYCFC equalized the match at 1-1, it was a delicate moment for Crew SC, losers of 8 of their last 9 matches. But they showed character in delivering another uppercut via Pedro Santos. Even if they came away with a point in the end, it was an important show of spirit.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: The match may have been a celebration of departing goalkeeper Zack Steffen, but his teammate Pedro Santos was the standout. The winger showed he's Crew SC's best candidate to take over at the No. 10 position for Pipa Higuain, who'll miss the rest of the season after suffering a knee ligament injury.
- Columbus: Tuesday, June 11 vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds, U.S. Open Cup (7 pm ET | ESPN+)
- NYCFC: Thursday, June 6 vs. FC Cincinnati (7 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in the US, MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada)