Lucas Zelarayan knocked home yet another goal on a free kick—his fourth-such goal of the season and fifth overall—to lift Columbus Crew to a lively 2-1 victory over New York City FC on Saturday evening, the Club's first win at Lower.com Field.
Zelarayan's latest moment of magic came in the 62nd minute, reminiscent of his two late free-kick goals against NYC on May 22 that turned a 1-0 deficit and sealed three points for his side.
NYCFC controlled much of the play in the first half, nearly finding themselves in front in the fourth minute courtesy of Valentin Castellanos before the Argentinian midfielder was denied by a big save from Eloy Room.
A few minutes later, they appeared to have won a penalty as a shot from Gudmundur Thórarinsson was ruled to have deflected off the arm of Saad Abdul-Salaam inside the scoring area. Video Review, however, saw the penalty reversed to a free-kick as Abdul-Salaam was ruled to have been outside the scoring area, and Thórarinsson's subsequent attempt on the set-piece ultimately went straight into the Columbus wall.
The Crew saw an early chance of their own go begging in the 15th minute. Darlington Nagbe connected with Abdul-Salaam on a nice buildup, but Miguel Berry's resulting shot from Abdul-Salaam's pass was robbed by Luis Barraza.
But, in stoppage time, Columbus broke the deadlock as Nagbe capped a pretty run with a chipped finish past Barraza to give Columbus the lead right before the break.
WATCH | Darlington Nagbe takes it from midfield and finishes with a cheeky chip
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However, NYCFC leveled the match early in the second half. A giveaway in the box found Jesus Medina, whose left-footed strike beat Room to make it a 1-1 contest. They came dangerously close to taking the lead in the 55th but Room was forced to make back-to-back saves in what was ultimately called offside.
In the 62nd minute, Columbus took the lead on Zelarayan's fourth free-kick goal of the season to thrill a loud and vibrant Lower.com Field crowd. That tied David Beckham's mark set in 2012 and put Zelarayan two shy of tying Sebastian Giovinco's single-season record.
WATCH | Lucas Zelarayan with another magical free kick goal vs. NYCFC
NYCFC would push for the equalizer to send the Crew to a fourth straight draw. But Room and the Columbus defense stood firm the rest of the way to seal the victory and end a four-match winless streak.
The Crew returns home on Wednesday, July 21 vs. Nashville SC, with kickoff at Lower.com Field slated for 7:30 p.m. ET.