This time around, NYCFC knew they were entering a difficult environment. Not only would the crowd be a sellout, but the Pigeons have only won once in Columbus. Plus, the home team was clearly the better side this year, for they sat in fourth place in the Eastern Conference before the opening whistle.
While NYCFC did not win, the two once again shared the points due to a 1-1 draw. The Bronx side failed to hold onto a 1-0 lead, and this occurred while being up a man due to a second half red card by Cucho Hernández.
Additionally, poor refereeing plagued the fixture, and unfortunately poor foul calls for both the Pigeons and Columbus were called, and some were missed. Sergii Boiko allowed for the game to get out of hand at times, and this led one of the more insane and crazy fixtures in the history of NYCFC.
NYCFC draws Columbus again in an incredibly insane game
Now, New York City FC played better than expected. The Crew dominated the possession, but the offensive work by the Pigeons was incredible, for nine out of the 15 shots were on target. There were so many chances that should have turned to goals, but the inability to score hindered the team’s ability to grab all three points.
Also, the Crew’s goalkeeper, Patrick Schulte, must be given credit for a stellar evening. The young American kept his team alive numerous times, for he had eight saves on the night.
That being said, before NYCFC’s goal, there were many shots that should have put the team up by a goal or two. One such opportunity came in the 31st minute by Richard Ledezma. The midfielder only had to worry about Schulte, but his shot went right to the center of the goal. He could not maneuver himself to get the ball into the back of the net, and it was definitely a strike a striker would likely put away.
Then, in the 61st minute, Gabriel Pereira had a clear opportunity to take a shot and send it into the back of the net. Sadly, the Brazilian took too much time on the ball, and this allowed the Crew’s defense to come back and force him to take a weaker shot, which led to the ball going out of play.
The insanity of the fixture, despite poor foul calls, truly began around the 68th minute, when Hernández received his red card due to a second yellow. In an attempt to kick the ball, he kicked Maxime Chanot in the head, and sent the defender to the ground. It was clearly card worthy, and this put NYCFC up a man for the rest of the game.
Luckily, the red card worked in the team’s favor, for Justin Haak scored his first goal of the season, and his first for the Pigeons, in the 75th minute. The midfielder sent the ball into the back of the net with a curl and power.
The insanity and craziness did not stop there. The referee ended up giving a red card to Columbus’ head coach, Wilfried Nancy, which seemed a little crazy at the time, and then used VAR to give another Crew coach a red card minutes after. As such, 12 minutes of stoppage time was announced.
Unfortunately, this was when NYCFC failed to hold their lead, for despite being up a man, they gave up the tying goal to Sean Zawadzki in the fourth minute of the 12 minutes of stoppage time. This led to the 1-1 result, and an otherwise disappointing end to the match.
Truthfully, this fixture sums up the 2023 season for NYCFC. Despite the offensive opportunities, the team could only score once. And then, they gave up the tying goal at the end, illuminating the small mistakes that are made game in and game out.
Sadly, this is another time this season that New York City FC failed to win on the road. The lack of goal scoring was clearly displayed, and the frustration continues to grow. The refereeing, while horrendous, cannot be blamed, for this should have ended with three points. Instead, the players will bring home just one.