Undefeated At Home, NYCFC Rallies For A Draw • Latino Sports

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Undefeated At Home, NYCFC Rallies For A Draw

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Bronx, NY – NYCFC entered this one looking to shake off the US Open Cup defeat to Red Bulls in midweek and continue their 100% record at Yankee Stadium in 2018. To accomplish that, they would have to overcome an Atlanta United side sitting pretty at the top of the MLS Supporters Shield table.

It was the second meeting between the sides this season following the hugely entertaining 2-2 tie at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in April and this one started in similar fashion. City dominated the first period, immediately setting about piling forward and asking questions of an increasingly creaking Atlanta backline.

A credible early penalty appeal was turned away after Jo Inge Berget was thrown to the ground on 6’ as the Norwegian looked to latch upon a superb volleyed cross from Tajouri-Shradi.

Vieira’s men kept their foot to the accelerator and an excellent press from Maxi Moralez almost gave us the day’s first goal on 27’ as the Argentine strode clear and attempted to round the goalkeeper but Brad Guzan extended his arm and made his first (and not last) excellent save.

The USMNT ‘keeper was at his best again three minutes later, tipping over David Villa’s deflected, goalbound strike.

The first 30’ of the half belonged to NYCFC but Atlanta came back into the encounter in the final 15’ of the half, trading charges and counter charges, although the visitors were unable to work Sean Johnson at all in the first period.

That changed three minutes into the first period when Martinez scored with Atlanta’s first shot on frame, an inch-perfect downward header from a Julian Gressel cross.

It was against the run of play but City didn’t allow it to throw them off their stride, laying siege to the Five Stripes’ goal in search of the equalizer.

Unsurprisingly, Villa looked like the home team’s likeliest goal threat, forcing multiple saves from Guzan and hitting the inside of the post, in between what looked like a handball from Darlington Nagbe in the penalty box – again, the referee waved away the protests.

Jonathan Lewis and Jesus Medina were introduced from the bench to try and rescue the undefeated home record but it was Alexander Callens who finally broke the Atlanta resistance on 77′, diving in to head in the equalizer from a Villa flick-on.

There were plenty of chances for a winning goal for the home team, with Moralez having City’s best and final opportunity in the dying seconds but, summing up the day, his shot beat Guzan, hit the inside of the post, and rolled along the goalline – ultimately away from harm… It just wouldn’t go in for a second time!

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