Atlanta United 1-1 NYCFC: Thorarinsson goal spares Boys In Blue's blushes
Photo: Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NYCFC earned a vital point as they drew 1-1 with Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Marcelino Moreno put the Red and Black in front in the 17th minute and it looked to be enough until a second-half stoppage time goal by Gudmundur Thorarinsson rescued the Boys In Blue.

The result leaves NYCFC one point out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference while Atlanta United remain fifth, just two points above the playoff line.

 

Story of the match

The Boys In Blue started brightly, Keaton Parks forcing Brad Guzan to tip the ball over for a corner from a powerful strike in the seventh minute.

In the 15th minute, Maxi Moralez slid Thiago, but after trying to square to Jesus Medina, the ball ended up in the hands of Guzan.

The hosts took the lead two minutes later when a turnover on the halfway line allowed Atlanta to counter through Luiz Araujo, the Brazilian playing it to Moreno, who beat Sean Johnson.

Johnson was called into action as he stopped a 37th-minute free kick by Araujo.

NYCFC had a chance to restore parity right on half-time, but Medina’s free kick was cleared away from danger.

Cubo Torres got an early look at goal that was well parried by Johnson. That was followed up in the 55th minute by a chance for George Bello that crashed against the crossbar.

At the other end, a free kick from Medina landed on the head of Alexandre Callens, but he was unable to keep his effort down.

Santiago Rodriguez was introduced in the 62nd minute and just three minutes later, he fired off a strike from distance to test Guzan.

In the 89th minute, Talles Magno won a free kick from a dangerous position. Thórarinsson took it and he curled in a sensational effort past Guzan to tie the game.

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Man of the match: Gudmundur Thorarinsson

He only played half an hour, but he may have scored the most critical goal of the season, ending NYCFC's 509-minute goalless drought and earning the Boys In Blue a point that could go a long way towards carrying them to the playoffs.

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