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NYCFC Tie With Atlanta At Citi Field

NYCFC recorded a 1-1 tie against Atlanta United on Saturday night at Citi Field. City took a first-half lead from the penalty spot through Santiago Rodríguez. The visitors would equalize in the 65th minute after Jamal Thiaré headed past Matt Freese. Neither side was able to find the decisive third goal and that meant both teams left the game with a point. 

NYCFC goalkeeper Matt Freese (right) and Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan greet.
New York City FC goalkeeper Matt Freese (right) and Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan (left) greet after the match at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

NYCFC 1 Atlanta United 1

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The World’s Borough was the setting as New York City FC welcomed Atlanta United to Queens. 

The Five Stripes entered the contest off the back of a convincing 3-0 victory against Chicago Fire, while City were keen to secure a win and kick off the first of five consecutive home games in style. 

Head Coach Nick Cushing made two changes to the side that faced Miami last time out as Birk Risa and Kevin O’Toole replaced Mitja Ilenič and Strahinja Tanasijevič. 

Atlanta United midfielder Edwin Mosquera (20) and NYCFC forward Kevin O'Toole (22) during the second half. Photo: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

First Half

City wasted no time attacking Atlanta and came close to taking the lead inside the opening ten minutes. The move was started by a long ball from Keaton Parks to O’Toole in space down the left.  

The defender curled in a high looping cross to the back post that found Santiago Rodríguez in space – the forward unable to bring the ball fully under his spell.  

Rodríguez would prove a constant source of danger for City and in the 9th minute he produced a cute turn to evade two Atlanta defenders before curling an effort just wide of Brad Guzan’s post. 

City’s pressure continued to mount and this time it was Mounsef Bakrar with the chance. The forward made a smart run down the side of Atlanta’s defence, but saw his low drive deflect behind for a corner.  

At the other end, Thiago Almada was chief architect for Atlanta in the final third – forcing Matt Freese into a kick save at his near post in the 22nd minute.

After a series of almost moments, New York City were given a brilliant chance to take the lead in the 38th minute after Rodríguez was brought down in the penalty area. 

The forward opted to take the resulting spot kick and after composing himself he sent Guzan the wrong way to hand City the lead.

One almost became two in first-half injury time after a near post header by Hannes Wolf only narrowly missed the target. 

NYCFC forward Monsef Bakrar in action
New York City FC forward Monsef Bakrar during the first half. Photo: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Second Half

Both teams entered the second half unchanged, with City coming close early via a long-range strike from Keaton Parks. 

Cushing would introduce his first substitution of the evening just before the hour mark as winger Julián Fernández replaced Martínez.   

The forward wasted little time getting involved in the action and that saw him given a chance to score from the right-hand side of the area after an overload.  

Atlanta tied the game in the 65th minute through a counterattack to stun the hosts. Scored by forward Jamal Thiaré, 

City wasted no time in mounting a response and in the 77th minute, Rodríguez came close to securing his second of the evening. 

The forward’s driving run at the heart of the Atlanta defence eventually opened up an avenue to shoot, with Guzan forced to tip Rodríguez’s strike against the underside of the crossbar.  

In the 81st minute, Cushing introduced two further subs as Agustín Ojeda and Ilenič replaced Wolf and Gray.  

The Boys in Blue were continuing to force the issue as the game ticked toward injury time. Bakrar was able to get his head to a cross late on but he could not keep the effort on target.  

A smart body feint by Fernández in injury time allowed him to pull the ball back to the top of the box for the onrushing Rodríguez but he could not beat Guzan with his eventual effort.  

That would prove to be the final act of note on the night, forcing both teams to settle for a point. 

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Next Game

New York City FC continues their homestand, facing off against the New England Revolution on Saturday, April 13 at 7:30pm ET in The Bronx, New York at Yankee Stadium. Broadcast: Apple TV | Radio: 

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