Lucas Zelarayanwas the hero for the Columbus Crew (2-2-2, 8 pts.) on Saturday, scoring two stunning late free-kicks to give Columbus a dramatic 2-1 win over New York City FC at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.
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Zelarayan struck first in the 82nd minute, with a free-kick blasted past NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson as Columbus drew level to potentially record the Club's second draw of the regular season.
WATCH | Lucas Zelarayan drills it from deep to equalize
The Argentine midfielder delivered once more in stoppage time to seal a valuable second win of the season for the defending MLS Cup champs.
WATCH | Lucas Zelarayan does it again, this time with a game-winner in stoppage time
NYCFC looked the aggressors throughout the first 15 minutes, however, and finally did find the back of the net through a bottom-corner finish by Ismael Tajouri-Shradi to open his account in 2021.
Not long after, Jesús Medina nearly made it 2-0 on a well-placed pass in the box from Valentin Castellanos but was denied by a brilliant save from The Crew's Eloy Room.
WATCH | Eloy Room comes up big in the first half vs. NYCFC
Castellanos later made his own bid to double the margin in the 33rd from a pass from Tajouri-Shradi but missed the target by mere inches. Columbus did find the net in the 51st minute as Jonathan Mensah fired it home but saw it immediately waved off on a straightforward offside call.
But Zelarayan would once again prove the difference, scoring his second and third goals of the season, all of which have come from free-kicks.
Up next, The Crew returns home on Saturday, May 29 vs. Toronto FC at 3 p.m. ET. | PURCHASE TICKETS
*Note: This editorial was provided by MLSsoccer.com and edited by ColumbusCrew.com
CREW SC MATCH NOTES
Midfielder Lucas Zelarayan scored two free-kick goals during tonight’s 2-1 road victory over New York City FC. The Argentine player scored his first goal in the 82nd minute to tie the match 1-1 before converting another free kick in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time to net the game-winning goal. Zelarayan became the first player to score two free-kick goals in one match for the Crew since Federico Higuain achieved this feat during a 2012 match against the New England Revolution (August 25). The midfielder is currently The Crew’s leading goal scorer for the 2021 MLS season with three tallies, having previously converted a free kick goal in the Black & Gold’s 3-1 win against D.C. United earlier this year (May 8).
During tonight’s match, midfielder Darlington Nagbe led The Crew in pass completion accuracy with 98.2%, completing 55 of his 56 passes. The midfielder had 71 total touches and added one clearance and one interception against New York City FC. Overall, the Club had an 86.6% pass completion accuracy with 499 total passes Saturday night.
Defender Jonathan Mensah had three interceptions and three blocks for The Crew during tonight’s 2-1 win over New York City FC. The defender also won eight duels, made four clearances, blocked one shot, and made three interceptions. Notably, Mensah registered 94 touches – more than any other player for either team on the night.
Tonight’s victory marks the first time Columbus Crew has defeated New York City FC on the road in regular-season action since a 2-1 victory at Yankee Stadium in 2015 (August 29).
Next up the Black & Gold face off against Toronto FC on Saturday, May 29 [3:00 p.m. ET / Bally Sports Ohio (English), Bally Sports App (Stream) / 97.1 The Fan (English), ColumbusCrew.com (Spanish)].