The win, which followed New York City’s 4-1 victory over FC Cincinnati on Saturday, keeps NYCFC in third place in the Eastern Conference one point behind Atlanta and Philadelphia. New York City has played one fewer game than Atlanta and two fewer than Philadelphia.
The game’s lone goal came in the 36th minute as a familiar combination once again connected. Maxi Moralez chipped a pass over the Columbus defense and on to the foot of Valentin Castellanos, who gathered with a touch and shot low to the left of Crew keeper Elroy Room.
Castellano’s goal was his 10th of the season and fifth in the past four games for the 20-year old.
“At my age, I’m happy where I am right now,” he said. “I’m enjoying it, but I want to continue helping the team. I think I can still improve and I’m still learning every day from my teammates and coaching staff.”
The win over Columbus allowed New York City to take advantage of the games in hand it has over its Eastern Conference rivals. But NYCFC’s head coach Doménec Torrent said the team will need to have more consistent performances going forward.
“I’m very happy for the three points,” he said. “Maybe we played one of the best first halves of the season and one of the worse second halves of the season.”
Up next for NYCFC is the Hudson River Derby game against New York Red Bulls. Kick-off at Yankee Stadium on Saturday is 7 p.m.
“For me, the most important game is the next so the most important game is the Red Bulls,” Torrent said. “After Red Bulls the most important is Vancouver and I will have to choose the right players. It is good news for us because everyone is waiting to play against the Red Bulls, so I will have to choose the right players.”