How NYCFC or Columbus can advance to the Eastern Conference Championship

Columbus Crew SC have not lost since August 5 and they continued their winning form on Tuesday night when they beat New York City FC 4-1 in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The teams will matchup again on Sunday evening (5:00 PM ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes; TSN 1, TVAS) for the decisive second leg. Below is a grid showing the scoreline that each team needs to advance to the Eastern Conference Championship.

How to read the grid: if the NYCFC beats Columbus 3-0 on Sunday, the aggregate score for the series would be tied at 4 (NYC 4, CLB 4). New York City FC would advance to the Eastern Conference Championship on away goals (see below for more information on the away goals rule).

NYCFC vs Columbus matchup notes:

  • Last match at New York (Citi Field): Oct 22. 2-2 draw.
  • NYCFC are 1-0-3 at home against Columbus all-time.
  • NYCFC won two matches this season by three goals. (March 12 vs DC, May 21 vs ORL)

The away goals rule: The away goals rule is a tiebreaking method that is used to determine the winner of a two-legged series, such as the MLS Conference Semifinals and Conference Championships. If two teams are tied on aggregate at the end of regulation time of the second leg, the away goals rule is applied as the first tiebreaker. The winner is the team with the most goals scored away from home.