180530_ATLvsNER_Recap

ATL UTD rues missed chances as late penalty forces 1-1 draw in New England

A frustrating night on the road for the Five Stripes, who created chance after chance but couldn’t pull away in New England and had to settle for a road point after a late penalty.

Atlanta United had to shuffle the back line with the injury to Greg Garza and a one-match suspension to Leandro González Pirez for an accumulation of yellow cards. Mikey Ambrose came back into the first-team lineup at left back while both Chris McCann and Franco Escobar returned from injury in the back line next to captain Michael Parkhurst. The full XI: Brad Guzan (GK), Chris McCann (LCB), Michael Parkhurst (CB), Franco Escobar (RCB), Mikey Ambrose (LWB), Jeff Larentowicz (CDM), Julian Gressel (RWB), Darlington Nagbe (CM), Miguel Almirón (CAM), Ezequiel Barco (ST), Josef Martinez (ST).

Atlanta United started the game on top, but still wary of the New England attacking threat as two strong attacking teams started off in a tactical chess match. But after 23 minutes Atlanta United was on top. Darlington Nagbe swung a perfect pass into the stride of Julian Gressel out on the right flank, who swerved in a low cross that found its way all the way to Josef Martinez in the center of the box. The Venezuelan made no mistake, slamming home inside the far post to snatch the lead and re-take the top spot in the MLS Golden Boot race with nine total goals now on the season.

Atlanta United stayed well on top in the second half, mounting the opportunities. Ezequiel Barco and Miguel Almirón each had prime chances to extend the lead, but the Revolution goalkeeper’s man of the match performance just kept them out. It seemed Atlanta would be able to overcome those missed chances up until just minutes to go in the match, when the ref ruled Kevin Kratz had fouled Kristián Németh in the box in the 87th minute. Teal Bunbury converted from the spot to equalize a minute later.

The red, black and gold continued their fight up until the last moment, with Kevin Kratz nearly re-taking the lead late in stoppage time. But New England goalkeeper Matt Turner made another incredible close-range save and the game came to an end with a 1-1 scoreline.

Atlanta United will have to pick their heads back up quickly with no time to linger on the result. They now return to Atlanta to host the Philadelphia Union at Mercedes-Benz Stadium as they try to get back to winning ways once again against an Eastern Conference rival. Tickets to that match are still available, so make sure you’ve reserved yours here.

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