Atlanta United played Toronto FC to a 2-2 draw Saturday night at BMO Field behind goals from Giorgos Giakoumakis and Machop Chol. Giakoumakis scored in his fourth consecutive game while Chol scored his first MLS goal.
Atlanta took an early lead in the 4th minute when Giakoumakis scored off a Brooks Lennon corner kick. Lennon played an in-swinging ball that Giakoumakis headed from the corner of the six-yard box. His redirection beat the arm of Toronto FC keeper Sean Johnson.
Just before halftime, Toronto’s Richie Laryea scored the equalizer. Federico Bernardeschi found Laryea nearly 40 yards out, dribbled through the midfield, and fired a right-footer into the far corner.
“I put him in as a 10 or an 8. He’s a player that can cover a lot of ground”Gonzalo Pineda on Machop Chol
Early in the second half, Giakoumakis went to ground with a knock. After the match, coach Gonzalo Pineda confirmed he took him out as a precautionary measure because “he said he felt something”. Miguel Berry came on to replace him.
The five stripes took the lead in the 76th minute behind a Machop Chol header that beat Sean Johnson. The South Sudanese starlet made an immediate impact once subbed on in the 65th minute and was a menace for defenders in the midfield. Andrew Gutman switched up play and found Luiz Araújo down the right flank. Araújo set his boots and fired a cross into the box where Chol beat his defender for the header.
Just when it looked like Atlanta was set to steal three points on the road, Toronto’s Brandon Servania scored in the final seconds. Servania hit a low shot to the far post past a diving Quentin Westberg. Oddly enough, goalscorers Servania and Chol were teammates back at Wake Forest.
Atlanta United (4-1-3, 15 points) returns to action when it hosts Chicago Fire at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday, April 23 (4:30 p.m., MLS Season Pass/FS1, 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