Villa, NYCFC secure No. 2 seed, tie Crew 2-2 at Citi Field
NEW YORK (AP) — David Villa scored two goals and New York City FC tied the Columbus Crew 2-2 on Sunday in the first regular-season match at Citi Field to secure the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The new venue was selected for regular-season finale because of a conflict with the New York Yankees playoff run.
Ola Kamara gave the Crew a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute but Villa tied it with a header off a corner kick by Maximiliano Moralez in the 18th and then blasted a right-footer from the top corner of the box that deflected off a diving Zack Steffen and gave NYCFC (16-9-9) a 2-1 lead just before halftime.
Josh Williams, who had a brief stint with New York City in 2015, headed home a corner kick by Federico Higuain in the 58th minute to cap the scoring. Williams, a defender, has scored all of his three goals this season in the last four games.
Villa finished the regular season with 22 goals — his second consecutive 20-goal season — and has 61 goals in three MLS seasons.
Columbus (16-12-6), which could have finished as high as No. 2 in the Eastern Conference, will be fifth seed and face No. 4 Atlanta in the Knockout Round.
New York City earned a bye into the conference semifinals, which begin Oct. 30.