New York City FC's and Atlanta United have two of the most exciting attacks in MLS and they met on Sunday at Yankee Stadium. Unfortunately for Atlanta, they were missing two key parts of their attack, as Josef Martinez continued to miss time due to injury, and Yamil Asad was forced to miss the match due to suspension.
NYCFC started the first half off well on Sunday at Yankee Stadium. The exciting attack was putting together moves after moves relentlessly. The Atlanta backline could not keep up with the quick and skilled front three of NYCFC. Rodney Wallace, David Villa and Jack Harrison made it very difficult for the guests. Unfortunately, the chances were not converted and NYCFC had nothing to show despite their relentless attack.
That was until the captain, Villa, combined with Rodney Wallace for a spectacular goal. After some lovely passing in the middle, the ball fell to Wallace who backheeled the ball to Villa who made no mistake. El Guaje opened his hips and placed the ball off the far post and in to cap off the attack.
After a very good opening half hour for NYCFC, Atlanta United decided to bounce back. A long range effort went just wide from Hector Villalba and then took over from there.
Applying some pressure of their own, Atlanta won themselves a corner in the oppositions third. Kenwyne Jones, who was replacing the injured Josef Martinez proved his worth. The Trinidadian won the ball down to Carlos Carmona who fired a brilliant strike to the top corner of Sean Johnson's goal who stood no chance.
Atlanta were fired up after drawing the game in the thirty-ninth minute and pushed for another first half goal with no luck. Unfortunately the Atlanta side had no idea this would be the best time to take advantage.
Another Bright Start
NYCFC started the second half even stronger than they started the first half. Rodney Wallace had three great chances in the first thirty seconds.
Yes, it only took Atlanta United thirty seconds to make three goal line clearances. Tyrone Mears made the first save off the line, then Leandro Gonzalaez Pirez made the next two. Rodney Wallace put the ball over the keepers head and Gonzalez Pirez made an amazing clearance with his head before running into the net. The ball fell back to Wallace who put a shot on frame but Gonzalez Pirez sprinted out from his goal to make a second save for his side in spectacular fashion.
Luckily for NYCFC and their fans, the chances did not stop there. The home side continued to dominate from that point. Rodney Wallace scored a goal after a great low cross from Ethan White in the sixtieth minute which ended up being the game winning goal.
NYCFC didn't stop there.
Rodney Wallace continued to cause nightmares for Atlanta's backline as he assisted a Maxi Moralez goal just two minutes later.
This put NYCFC 3-1 up in the 62nd minute and they never looked like losing the lead.
NYCFC will start a four game road trip following the game against Atlanta which coincidently ends with a game to Atlanta. NYCFC will travel to face off against FC Dallas, Real Salt Lake, Orlando City and then the aforementioned Atlanta United. That is a tough schedule for NYCFC, but if the 3-1 win over Atlanta is anything to go by, the team is full of confidence.
Atlanta will also be traveling for the next week as they will visit Providence Park to face off against the Portland Timbers. Atlanta will then welcome the Houston Dynamo before they see New York City FC for the final time in the 2017 MLS regular season.