The Five Stripes fought for all
nine innings two halves, but had to settle for a 1-1 draw in their visit to New York City FC.
It was a very even fight that only got harder when Atlanta United went down a man in the second half. The result leaves them with 14 points through seven games and a 4-1-2 record.
Gonzalo Pineda rolled with the same starting XI that pulled a historic win over New York Red Bulls last week. The big news is the return of fullback Andrew Gutman who’s available off the bench tonight after recovering from a groin injury during Atlanta’s visit to Columbus a couple of weeks ago.
Atlanta began the first part of the opening 45 minutes in complete control. They were pressing well, recovering the ball quickly and creating plenty of chances, but they weren’t finishing them off.
Derrick Etienne Jr found the net in the 22nd minute after capitalizing on a goalkeeper rebound, but was ruled to have taken an offside position leading up to the play and the goal was disallowed.
The hosts began to find rhythm as the half progressed and were able to create chances of their own, even surpassing Atlanta in shots 5-4 after being down 3-1 early on. The Five Stripes’ defense was on high alert, however, and the two teams went to the break scoreless.
The second half didn’t start in the most ideal way for Atlanta as Franco Ibarra was issued a red card in the 61st minute for a bad tackle on James Sands. As a result of the sending-off, the Five Stripes had to play the remaining 29 minutes down a man and Ibarra will miss the next match at Toronto FC.
Though down to 10 men, Atlanta still had fight in them. Giorgios Giakoumakis found the opening goal by heading in a high cross from Thiago Almada in the 70th minute to give the Five Stripes a 1-0 lead.
However, the advantage didn’t last as Gabriel Pereira responded with a strike from distance to equalize just a minute later.
Both teams kept pushing to find the winner, but it wouldn’t come for either. After a very even match, Atlanta had to split the points with the Pigeons as the final score stayed 1-1.
On the one hand, being able to escape from Yankee Stadium with a point after going down a man isn’t a terrible result. On the other, it feels like Atlanta could’ve gotten more after being mostly dominant until the red card and then taking the lead shortly after. Either way, they’ll look to return to winning ways when they travel to Toronto.
What did you think of the match? Let us know in the comments below.