Recap: Harrison’s Two-Goals Push NYCFC Past Columbus

by Anthony J. Merced

Jack Harrison had one of his most impressive performances as he scored twice to carry NYCFC past the Columbus Crew at MAPFRE Stadium on Saturday night. The young winger has grown leaps and bounds alongside David Villa and provided the finishing touch on a night where Villa wasn’t fully fit having battled illness all week. Now NYCFC propels themselves to third in the standings, putting the stinging loss to Orlando City behind them.

“Since the first day I believe we have a better squad than last year,” said head coach Patrick Vieira. “I see them everyday working in training and because of the quality of the players we have last year and the new ones we bring, we are much better as a team and as a squad.”

That depth shined against Columbus as USL MVP Sean Okoli filled in for David Villa and Ben Sweat took the spot in left back for the injured Ronald Matarrita. The switch was like-for-like unlike the previous week when Rodney Wallace was wedged into the left back role, taking away a key part of the NYC offense. The moves worked for Vieira as the team still looked dangerous moving forward and Okoli gave Columbus something they weren’t expecting.

Jack Harrison was still the star of the day as he put his first goal past the Columbus keeper in the eighth minute. Maxi Moralez provided the service, giving Harrison just enough room to beat the keeper with a ball up around his eyes. The Crew would respond in the 29th minute with a goal from Frederico Higuain and then take the lead in the 49th minute with Ola Kamara’s goal. The bench continued played a key part for NYCFC in the second half when Yangel Herrera equalized the game the 64th minute. Then it was Harrison again for the game winner in the 76th minute when Herrera picked the ball off of the defense and found a charging Harrison.

The win gives New York their second road win of the season as they return home to play Atlanta United at Yankee Stadium next Sunday.

STARTING XI:

NYCFC: Johnson; White, Chanot, Callens, Sweat; Ring, Herrera, Moralez (89′ Brilliant); Wallace (90′ Allen), Okoli (86′ Camargo), Harrison

Columbus Crew: Steffen; Afful, Mensah, Naess (86′ Jahn), Raitala; Trapp, Abu; Finlay (81′ Manneh), Higuain, Meram (81′ Hansen); Kamara

SCORING SUMMARY:

8′ (NYCFC): Jack Harrison assisted by Maxi Moralez
29′ (Crew SC): Frederico Higuain assisted by Jukka Raitala and Justin Meram
49′ (Crew SC): Ola Kamara assisted by Ethan Finlay
64′ (NYCFC): Yangel Herrera assisted by Ben Sweat and Alexander Ring
76′ (NYCFC): Jack Harrison assisted by Yangel Herrera

DISCIPLINE:

2′ (NYCFC): Ben Sweat YELLOW CARD
17′ (NYCFC): Yangel Herrera YELLOW CARD
44′ (Crew SC): Jukka Raitala YELLOW CARD
79′ (NYCFC): Maxime Chanot YELLOW CARD