Thiago Andrade, Maximiliano Moralez, Alexander Callens and Jesus Medina also scored for NYCFC, which climbed from beneath the line all the way to fifth place in the Eastern Conference race for seven places in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Bill Hamid committed a crucial mistake leading to Castellanos' first goal but responded with nine saves on a night that D.C. fell out of the playoff places for the first time since the end of July.
Many of those stops came late, preventing a nightmarish night from turning into a historic one for the visitors, who have earned one point in their last four games.
- THE BIG PICTURE: NYCFC have split home games between The Bronx and Northern New Jersey this year, but their performances have been otherworldy at Yankee Stadium. The total record there: 5W-1L-1D, 23GF, 3GA. The Black-and-Red? The main positive may have been the lopsided score at the half allowed manager Hernan Losada to make five substitutions with an eye to resting some regulars for Wednesday's Atlantic Cup clash.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: To paraphrase New York native Mike Tyson, everyone has a plan until you get knocked back with an early goal. Thiago Andrade's opener – set up by excellent work down the left from Amundsen and Santiago Rodriguez – was NYCFC's earliest of the season and set the tone for everything that followed.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Valentin Castellanos. He was the beneficiary of D.C.'s two most jarring defensive mistakes, but still had work to do to put away both. His instinctive finish on his first goal (below) looked far easier than the actual degree of difficulty.