Giorgos Giakoumakis goal gives Atlanta United first-ever regular season win over Red Bulls


Atlanta United hosted New York Red Bulls at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in what was a physical matchup between the two Eastern Conference clubs. After a chippy match where 30 fouls were committed and 10 yellow cards issued, six yellow cards in the first half alone, Atlanta United held onto an early 1-0 lead from a Giorgos Giakoumakis goal to earn the club's first-ever regular season win over Red Bulls.

First half - Derrick Etienne Jr. makes his first start for Atlanta United, Giorgos Giakoumakis opens the scoring

The injury to Andrew Gutman last weekend in Columbus created a shift in head coach Gonzalo Pineda's starting lineup. Caleb Wiley moved to left fullback in Gutman's place and Derrick Etienne Jr. entered the starting XI. The match marks Etienne's first career start for the 5-Stripes.

Etienne was in fact part of Atlanta United's first goal of the night. On the left wing, he received a long ball from Miles Robinson, took his defender 1v1, then found Thiago Almada wide open about 25 yards out from goal. With space, the World Cup winner ripped a shot on frame that required a save from Carlos Coronel. The goalkeeper's block tumbled out of his hands toward the edge of the 6-yard-box, right where Giorgos Giakoumakis could pounce on it. The Atlanta United striker put away the rebound to lift the home side ahead 1-0 in the 7th minute and score his second goal of the season.

Atlanta managed New York's high press fairly well in the first half. The home side (as expected) possessed a majority of the half (62 percent) and took four shots, two on goal. Goalkeeper Brad Guzan saved a shot for Atlanta United in the 21st minute taken by Red Bulls midfielder Cristian Cásseres Jr., then made a diving save in a chaotic moment in the 36th to ensure the 5-Stripes went into the halftime break with a one-goal lead.

Second half - Atlanta United holds off Red Bulls

Atlanta United nearly fell to New York's high press early in the second half. The visitors pressed and stole the ball deep in Atlanta's defensive third. Halftime sub Dante Vanzeir carried the ball forward into the box. Atlanta United defender Juanjo Purata tracked back and made a diving tackle to prevent a shot on goal. A long throw-in created another nervous situation in Atlanta United's box a few minutes later, but Guzan corralled the loose ball to keep Red Bulls at bay.

Red Bulls nearly equalized the match in the 64th minute. After an Atlanta United corner kick sent the ball back, Red Bulls created a takeaway that led to a rapid counterattack. With several defensive players upfield for the corner, there was little to challenge Vanzeir. On the right side, he carried the ball toward goal and took a shot that went wide.

In the 73rd minute, Pineda made his first change of the match. In a double-substitution, Machop Chol and Matheus Rossetto replaced Amar Sejdić and Etienne Jr.

The 5-Stripes nearly went ahead by two goals in the 74th minute. On the right side, Luiz Araújo passed the ball up ahead to Brooks Lennon making an overlapping run. Lennon crossed the ball on the ground to right above the six-yard box. Matheus Rossetto was open and got a foot on it, but his shot from close-range sailed high. A few minutes later on another possession, Araújo made a similar pass on the ground from the right side to Giakoumakis, who was positioned in nearly the same spot as Rossetto earlier, but his shot too went high.

In second-half stoppage time, Araújo was subbed off. Santiago Sosa entered the match, marking his 50th appearance in the MLS regular season.

For the remaining minutes, Atlanta United had to buckle down to preserve their one-goal lead. The 5-Stripes held on and, after a lengthy stoppage time, won the match 1-0. The result gave Atlanta United their second clean sheet of the season and first-ever regular season win over Red Bulls in club history.

Match Stats
Atlanta United 
New York Red Bulls  
Shots on Target
Corner kicks
Fouls committed
Passing accuracy

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