The dynamic Argentine was the catalyst for the big result for the defending MLS Cup champs, who trailed 1-0 all the way until deep into the second half before Zelarayan put two unstoppable set piece finishes into the net past NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
With an 18th-minute tally from NYCFC's Ismael Tajouri-Shradi standing as the difference, Zelarayan struck for his first with a spectacular shot from deep outside the penalty area that wrong-footed Johnson and zipped into the goal for the equalizer.
That would have been enough to salvage a point and give the Crew a solid road result, but Zelarayan wasn't finished. The 28-year old got another dead-ball look just before the full-time whistle, this time from just outside the area. He cashed home another perfectly placed finish with a clinical curling effort that went over the NYCFC wall and past the outstretched arm of Johnson, who had gone full extension to try to make the save.
The pair of highlight-reel finishes stood as the decisive goals in the 2-1 victory for the Crew, moving Caleb Porter's group to 2-2-2 and eight points on the season through six matches. Columbus are back in action on Saturday with an Eastern Conference clash with Toronto FC at Historic Crew Stadium (3 pm ET | MLS Live on ESPN+).
The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season through both media and fan voting in a process conducted by MLS Communications. A panel of journalists from the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) comprises 75 percent of the vote, while a Twitter fan vote represents the remaining 25 percent of voting. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.