Atlanta United trailed New York City FC twice in Sunday's match, but Dom Dwyer found the equalizer in the 86th minute to give the 5-Stripes a hard-fought result on the road against the reigning MLS Cup champions.
First Half – Atlanta United starts all three designated players for the first time, Taty Castellanos scores for New York City FC
Sunday marked the first time that all three designated players, Josef Martínez, Luiz Araújo and Thiago Almada, were in the same starting XI for Atlanta United. Almada returned to Gonzalo Pineda’s starting XI for the first time since May 28. The midfielder had missed the last three games due to a red card suspension.
The small pitch size at Yankee Stadium created fast-paced play that kept goalkeepers Rocco Ríos Novo and Sean Johnson on their toes. Both teams moved the ball quickly up and down the pitch, and the first half concluded with 15 total shots.
The pace forced Atlanta United's backline to be alert and make several stops in the first half. In the eighth minute, New York City winger Talles Magno had a chance at goal, but defender George Campbell cleared the shot close to the goal line. Campbell blocked another New York City chance in the 21st minute. In the 23rd minute, defender Alan Franco made a smart, sliding tackle to stall New York City’s attack.
However, a chance slipped through in the 37th minute when New York City’s Taty Castellanos opened the scoring. Magno sent a through ball to the streaking striker. With one touch, the 2021 Golden Boot winner shot with his right foot to put the defending MLS Cup champions ahead 1-0.
The designated players connected for a few of the best moments of the first half for Atlanta United. In the 29th minute, Almada chipped a ball into the box. An unmarked Araújo headed it at goal, but the shot didn’t have enough juice behind it and Johnson came up with the save. Almada and Martínez connected for another golden chance late in the half. Martínez sent the final pass to an open Marcelino Moreno, but his shot from the top of the 18-yard box went wide.
Second Half – Josef Martínez scores, Taty Castellanos puts New York City FC ahead, Dom Dwyer answers with the equalizer
Atlanta United’s designated players connected to equalize the match 1-1. Similar to the chance for Araújo, Almada chipped a ball into the box. This time, Martínez was on the end of it. The striker’s diving header from the center of the box got past a leaping Johnson and evened the score in the 56th minute.
The goal was no. 5 for Martínez in MLS this season and his second in as many matches. The striker now is the sole leader on the team in scoring this season. Almada was credited with the assist, his third in MLS.
However, the tie didn’t hold for long. Minutes later, New York City FC countered and Magno found Castellanos yet again. The striker tapped it in to give himself a brace on the day and a 2-1 lead for NYCFC in the 58th minute.
Down a goal, head coach Gonzalo Pineda sent on Ronaldo Cisneros in the 67th minute, Machop Chol in the 75th and Dom Dwyer in the 84th minute to help Atlanta’s attack.
The substitutions proved to be fruitful as two of them combined to score the equalizer for Atlanta United in the 86th minute. Franco made a pinpoint pass through two defenders to Cisneros. From the end line, Cisneros sent a low ball across the box. Dwyer, after being subbed into the match just two minutes earlier, finished it off to ensure Atlanta United gets a reward at the end of a tough three-match road trip.
Up Next – Atlanta United returns to Mercedes-Benz Stadium next weekend
Atlanta United heads into the next stretch of the schedule that includes three consecutive matches at home. It all starts July 9 when the 5-Stripes face a red-hot Austin FC side for the first all-time meeting between the clubs. It's a full-venue match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, so secure your seat today and don't miss a moment of the action.
Dom Dwyer finds the equalizer against NYCFC, assisted by Ronaldo Cisneros, Alan Franco