Atlanta United defender Caleb Wiley #26 dribbles during the second half of the match against New York City FC at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, NY on Saturday April 8, 2023. (Photo by Mitchell Martin/Atlanta United)

Atlanta United played New York City FC to a 1-1 draw Saturday night at Yankee Stadium. Giorgos Giakoumakis scored in his third consecutive match and Thiago Almada picked up a league-leading fifth assist. But it was Atlanta’s defense that weathered a late storm, playing a man down for nearly 40 minutes to secure a point on the road. 

Gonzalo Pineda repeated the same starting eleven as Atlanta’s last match for the first time in 2023, as Atlanta started the match on the front foot. Miles Robinson headed a cross over the crossbar on Atlanta’s first chance of the night in the opening minutes of the match. The away side continued to put pressure on New York City’s backline and in the 13th minute Almada delivered a dangerous ball from a wide free kick into the box for Giakoumakis, however, the forward’s attempt on goal went wide.

Atlanta appeared to have scored in the 22nd minute as Derrick Etienne Jr. reacted first to a rebound from an Almada shot but Etienne Jr. was ruled offside on the initial pass. Moments later, Almada again played a through ball into space on the right side, this time to Brooks Lennon, but his cut back across the box was just behind Giakoumakis.

Brad Guzan was called into action in the 33rd minute and made a diving save on a Gabe Segal shot to keep the match level heading into halftime.

Atlanta had another chance in the 52nd minute from a corner kick as Almada’s cross reached Amar Sejdic at the back post but Luis Barraza quick reaction save kept the ball from crossing the line.

Minutes later, though, Franco Ibarra was shown a red card in the 62nd minute for a tackle on James Sands.

But Atlanta responded well, forcing a kick save from Barraza in the 68th minute that kept Almada off the board. On the ensuing corner in the 70th minute, Atlanta opened the scoring after Almada’s initial delivery was cleared back toward the corner flag. The Argentine took two touches forward before lofting a ball to the back post for Giakoumakis to head home for his third goal of the season. 

New York City quickly responded in the 72nd minute to tie the match through substitute Gabriel Pereira. On a long ball forward, Mitja Ilenic headed it down toward Pereira, who took a couple of touches toward the center of the pitch and skillfully struck a left-footed shot into the left corner. 

Atlanta was forced to see off 10 minutes of extra time to secure the point. Guzan made two saves and the rest of the defense thwarted multiple NYCFC attacks to keep the match tied. 

Atlanta United (4-1-2, 14 points) returns to action when it travels to face Toronto FC on April 15 at BMO Field (7:30 p.m., MLS Season Pass, 92.9 The Game, La Mejor). All Atlanta United matches are available with an MLS Season Pass subscription, located on the Apple TV app.

Photo: Courtesy of ATLUTD

Leave a Reply