Atlanta United hosted New England Revolution in a midweek MLS match. Led by goals from Giorgos Giakoumakis, Thiago Almada and Miguel Berry, the 5-Stripes battled back after conceding twice in the first half to play the Revs to a 3-3 draw at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The result extends Atlanta's unbeaten run to four consecutive matches.
With the match even heading into the final minutes 2-2, backup striker Miguel Berry, who came on for Giakoumakis as a late substitute, broke the deadlock. With his chest, Berry brought down a New England header and hit the ball cleanly off a bounce for an incredible volley in the 87th minute. It was Berry's first MLS goal with the 5-Stripes.
Berry's goal appeared to be the game-winner, but New England found the equalizer in second-half stoppage time with a bookend brace for Carles Gil and the result of the match was a point for each side.
"We know we're a good team," Berry said. "Especially with the performance we played in front of them, to score three goals and give up three, we're disappointed in that. But we know it's a long season. Every point counts. That's not the first time we've dropped points at the end of the game, but I think there's an optimism too because you see what we can do."
Trailing 2-0, Atlanta United fought back in the second half and cut into the deficit behind the team's leading scorer. The play started when Thiago Almada ripped a shot that was blocked and then ricocheted inside the box. Andrew Gutman tapped it forward and Giakoumakis got on the end of it, putting it past New England goalkeeper Djordeje Petrovic with the outside of his right foot, to score his ninth goal of the season in the 56th minute and ignite thunderous cheers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Atlanta United drew even 2-2 with New England in the 74th minute. Almada made a quick turn to beat his defender then dribbled the ball toward the box. The World Cup winner took a shot with his right foot in heavy traffic that appeared to deflect off New England and misdirect the goalkeeper. Matheus Rossetto was credited with the assist.
The match got off to a stunning start for the home team. Miles Robinson dropped a pass back to Brad Guzan, and in his first home match back from an MCL injury, the goalkeeper tried to play the ball through the middle from his own box. However, Guzan's ball was not hit firmly enough. Gil took advantage for New England, finishing the gift in the center of the box, and Atlanta United found themselves down a goal just 23 seconds into the match. It was the fastest goal given up by Atlanta United in the club's MLS history.
"We were two minutes away from being very, very, very happy," Atlanta United head coach Gonzalo Pineda said. "I cannot be completely frustrated because I feel there are many positives from this performance. But, as I told the players, there's nothing we can say now that will make us feel better. The taste in our mouth is really, really bad."
Atlanta United nearly got a gift right back when Almada drew a foul from about 25 yards out in the 11th minute. A few inches was all that kept Almada from his fourth goal of the year on a direct free kick, but the midfielder’s sure strike clanged off the crossbar, as Petrovic watched feet firmly planted, and the score remained 1-0.
New England was the team to score the second goal of the match. Emmanuel Boateng sent a long cross with his left foot from the left side to the far post near the goal line. Striker Bobby Wood took it on a bounce, then tapped it in from close range to give the Revs a 2-0 advantage in the 37th minute.
As disastrous as the start seemed for Atlanta United, the home team was the better side for most of the match. The 5-Stripes controlled possession (72 percent), connected more passes (89 percent) and finished with 20 shots, seven on goal. New England took five shots, three on goal, the whole night.
"At the same time that I'm frustrated, I'm very proud of the game the players did," Pineda said. "It's not easy to come back 2-0 at home at halftime."
Up next - Atlanta United heads to Hollywood
The 5-Stripes have the weekend free and will next suit up to play LAFC on the road Wednesday, June 7. The match was originally scheduled for June 3 but was changed to accommodate LAFC’s upcoming appearance in the Concacaf Champions League Final.
It's a late kickoff time for supporters back in Atlanta. The match at BMO Stadium is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET. Don't miss a moment of the action and subscribe to MLS Season Pass today!