Sunday Futbol: NYCFC & Cosmos Tie, Red Bulls Win • Latino Sports

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Sunday Futbol: NYCFC & Cosmos Tie, Red Bulls Win

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Queens, NY – On a beautiful Fall day in Queens, the 20,113 fans present at Citi Field were treated to a wild start, with Columbus and NYC trading goals inside the first 20 minutes.

Entering Decision Day with destiny in their own hands, NYCFC knew that a win would secure the bye to the Eastern Conference semifinals. Any less than that and favors would be required from elsewhere on a full slate of final day action kicking off simultaneously up and down the country. The Boys in Blue had made a bright start to the match, dominating the possession and chance count, but it was the visitors who seized the early initiative on 11’.

Catching the home team up the field, Federico fed Ola Kamara who finished clinically into the far corner, past the onrushing Sean Johnson. That lead would last just seven minutes and it was the captain who made himself at home at Citi Field, stealing to the near post to thump home a header from a Maxi Moralez corner.

It was Villa’s 21st goal of the Regular Season and the dab celebration was earned.

Jack Harrison was a lively presence in the opening exchanges and he almost put his team ahead for the first time in the match when he slalomed inside and out before letting rip with his right foot but it just flew over the bar. Just when it looked as though the teams would be going in level at the break, Villa poured in his second of the day, beating Zack Steffen at his near post before launching into another dab celebration.

2-1 to the good at the break, NYC were holding off Atlanta who also held a narrow lead vs. Toronto but there was a further twist in store on the hour mark. Despite the continued domination from Vieira’s men, it was Columbus who scored the game’s fourth goal as former Blue Josh Williams rose highest to nod in Higuain’s corner, making it 2-2.

Toronto’s equalizer vs. Atlanta and Chicago’s deficit vs. Philly still had NYC in second but that was almost snatched away when a Crew corner almost bounced in but there was Frederic Brillant to make a heroic save with his head. At the other end, only a magnificent save from Steffen denied Villa his hat-trick after Rodney Wallace found El Guaje and the Spaniard delivered the acrobatic effort.

Heading into the final ten minutes, Atlanta retook the lead, meaning NYCFC needed a late goal to clinch the bye and they had a golden opportunity to get it from the penalty spot after a VAR-assisted award following Steffen’s foul on Moralez. Villa stepped up for his hat-trick but there was the Columbus ‘keeper to make the vital stop that would have forced NYC into the Knockout Round game, if not for Giovinco’s brilliant equalizer in Atlanta.

For the second year in a row, the Boys in Blue clinch second place in the third year of the club’s existence.

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