The game in 100 words (or less): An even game was decided by a moment of ruthlessness from Kei Kamara as Columbus earned its first win of the season. The possession was shared quite evenly, but the home side seemed the deadlier side up front throughout the contest. NYCFC was lucky not to play much of the game with 10 men after a bad Jason Hernandez challenge in the 27th minute garnered just a yellow. Things got interesting at the end with a red to Michael Parkhurst (incorrectly), but Columbus held firm.
Five moments that mattered
7′ — Finlay gets the bounce — Columbus went in front early thanks to a few lucky bounces and a powerful strike by Ethan Finlay. Justin Meram slithered his way into the box and cut it back into the middle. The cutback deflected off a defender, falling to Finlay in space. His hard, low shot took a ricochet off Thomas McNamara and found its way into the top corner.
49′ — Kamara unleashes a strike — Just four minutes after the break, Columbus went back in front. Justin Meram found Kamara totally unmarked on the right side of the box, and he ripped a strike before McNamara could recover that found the back of the net to put Columbus up 2-1.
80′ — Meram decides it — The game was over for a while as Columbus looked strong playing with the lead, but it was truly put away as Ethan Finlay burst down the right and cut back to Justin Meram, who tapped home the third of the game for Columbus to leave no doubt for the result.
87′ — NYCFC gets a lifeline — With the scoreline 3-1 and looking over, NYCFC got one back and made things interesting when Poku charged on goal and was brought down by Tyson Wahl. Referee Ted Uncle deemed it a last-man foul, and dished out the red card. The referee mistakenly sent off Michael Parkhurst instead (something which can be corrected later), and David Villa converted the penalty to bring NYCFC back at 3-2. The visitors tested Columbus in the final few minutes looking for an equalizer, but goalkeeper Steve Clark held strong.
Man of the match: Ethan Finlay, Justin Meram
Goalscorers: Finlay 7′, Villa 15′, 87′ (pen); Kamara 49′, Meram 80′