New York City midfielder Alexander Ring (8) looks to pass during the second half against Atlanta United at Yankee Stadium. The game ended in a 1-1 tie. Mandatory Credit: Chris Bergmann-USA TODAY Sports
NEW YORK – In a Saturday matinee at Yankee Stadium, New York City FC’s franchise record home win streak came to a halt on what may have been its best soccer play-day of the season.
Although dominating in every statistical category, City settled for a 1-1 draw with Atlanta United – a match featuring the top two teams in the Eastern Conference of Major League Soccer.
Atlanta maintained its two-point lead at the top of the table over second place New York City.
Captain David Villa said: “I feel like we did everything.”
Left back Ben Sweat agreed, saying, “Everyone in the stadium will be proud of that performance.”
Brad Guzan and the goalposts prevented NYCFC from achieving a three-point exit into the international break.
NYCFC outshot Atlanta 25-6 with a 10-2 advantage in strikes on target. Guzan was sharp from the outset and responded with nine saves, including a spectacular parry of a deflected Villa drive from inside the area.
“We need to give the keeper credit,” Villa said. “Also a little bit lucky because the post is not about him.”
Guzan found a comrade in the post during second-half stoppage time when Villa fed a square ball to Maxi Moralez and the Argentine’s right-footed strike ricocheted off the front post and harmlessly away from goal – preventing NYCFC from breaking the deadlock.
Alexander Callens had scored in the 77th minute off a Moralez corner kick to earn the point after Josef Martinez had given Atlanta the lead three minutes into the second half. Villa assisted on the Callens equalizer. NYCFC had 13 corners compared to just one for the Five Stripes.
“Always when you go to the break it’s much better to be at home resting with the victory and with the top of the table,” Villa said after City’s seven-match home winning streak ended. “But we did everything for it. We are disappointed with the result but we are very happy with the way we played.”