New York City F.C. 4-1 Columbus Crew S.C.

New York City F.C. needed to match or better Toronto F.C.’s result, in the final game of the season, in order to finish in 2nd place in the Eastern Conference and earn a bye to the conference semi-finals.

City began pushing forward…

…but Columbus defended strongly…

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…and then began striding down into the New York end…

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…going close on at least one occassion.

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City had a few excursions into the other half, but were unable to get a shot on goal.

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So Columbus continued their pressure…

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…but despite this, they were unable to score, with the City players defending resolutely.

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Finally, on the stroke of half time, Steven Mendoza tapped the ball into the back of the net to give City the lead with their very first shot on goal of the game.

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The second half started with City in the ascendency…

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…yet it was Columbus who struck next, with Ola Kamara leaping like a salmon to head the ball in the back of the net, to tie the game.

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With Toronto now leading in their game, this meant that unless City could come back, they’d be playing mid-week against the Philadephia Union. Suddenly New York sprung to life, pressuring like they’d not really done so far through the game.

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With Toronto now leading their game 3-1, City manager Patrick Vieira brought Frank Lampard on in place of Andreas Pirlo…

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…and were rewarded almost instantly when a Frank Lampard pass put Jack Harrison through…

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…who slotted it past Brad Stuver in the Columbus goal to put City back in pole position for the bye.

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2 minutes later Harrison turned provider, putting Khiry Shelton through to make it 3-1.

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To chants from the crowd of “we want 4”, City continued to press against the now deflated Crew.

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In the 3rd minute of injury time, Lampard chested the ball down, and passed it to his captain, David Villa…

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…who delighted the crowd by scoring the requested 4th goal, with what turned out to be the last kick of the game.

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So the 4-1 win ensured that City finished in 2nd place, and will now play the highest seeded winner of the first round of the eastern half of the playoffs.

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