Atlanta United, New York City FC play to draw

Giorgis Giakoumakis scores his third goal
Atlanta United forward Luiz Araújo #10 dribbles during the first half of the match against New York City FC at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, NY on Saturday April 8, 2023. (Photo by Mitchell Martin/Atlanta United)

Credit: Mitchell Martin/Atlanta United

Credit: Mitchell Martin/Atlanta United

Atlanta United forward Luiz Araújo #10 dribbles during the first half of the match against New York City FC at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, NY on Saturday April 8, 2023. (Photo by Mitchell Martin/Atlanta United)

NEW YORK -- Playing with 10 men for the game’s final 28 minutes, Atlanta United earned a 1-1 draw with New York City FC on Saturday at Yankee Stadium.

After Franco Ibarra was given a red card in the 62nd minute, Giorgos Giakoumakis scored his third goal to give Atlanta United a 1-0 lead. But NYCFC answered two minutes later to split the points.

Atlanta United manager Gonzalo Pineda said he was very concerned with a number of decisions made by referee Drew Fischer, including a non-call of a challenge against Brad Guzan, no video check of a Derrick Etienne goal that was waived away for offside, Ibarra’s red card and the 10 minutes of stoppage time at the end of the game.

“We need to earn respect from the referees and from the league,” Pineda said. “We need to win more games, and we need to win more trophies because we don’t have the respect and I’m very, very upset with the way they manage the game.”

With the draw, Atlanta United is 4-1-2 this season, including 1-1-1 on the road, and fell to 0-2-3 at Yankee Stadium. Atlanta United will play at Toronto next week.

“I’m happy with the effort, with the passion, with the good football that my team showed today,” Pineda said. “And we need more performances like these to earn more respect from the referees.”

Pineda selected the same starters against NYCFC who were in last week’s 1-0 win against the Red Bulls. It was the first time this season Pineda did that. Giakoumakis, who scored last week’s winning goal, started at striker with Luiz Araujo and Etienne on the wings and Thiago Almada as the attacking midfielder. Amar Sejdic and Ibarra were partnered in central midfield. Brooks Lennon and Caleb Wiley were the fullbacks with Miles Robinson and JuanJo Purata the centerbacks and Guzan in goal.

The goals happened within two minutes of one another in the second half.

Almada was denied by Luis Barraza from close range. But Atlanta United took advantage on the ensuing corner. It was cleared but the ball rolled down, and not past, the end line. Almada, who took the original corner, ran to the loose ball, looked up to see who had reacted, and put in another cross. Giakoumakis, working from the back post, headed it off the bottom of the crossbar to give Atlanta United a 1-0 lead in the 70th minute.

NYCFC answered one minute later on a hammered shot into the upper left corner by Gabriel Pereira in the 72nd minute.

Santiago Sosa cleared an NYCFC game-winner yards from the line in the ninth minute of stoppage time to preserve the draw.

“I think getting points on the road is always positive, I think we have a little bit of a bitter taste in our mouth, just because we were able to score with a man down,” Lennon said. “And we worked so hard tonight to be able to get that first goal. So a little bit of a bitter taste in our mouth, not to get three points.”

There was a pattern of attacking soccer played by both teams throughout the match. Both teams took eight shots through 85 minutes. Atlanta United had the higher expected goals total (1.9-0.5).

Atlanta United missed a chance in the opening minute when Robinson got away from his defender on a set piece. His header from a few yards away sailed over the crossbar.

Giakoumakis followed in the 12th minute with a sliding effort that rolled across the face of the goal. The free kick on the right side was taken very close to the spot of Robinson’s miss minutes earlier.

Guzan suffered an apparent left leg injury in the 18th minute when he collided with NYCFC’s Gabe Segal in the 6-yard box. Guzan came out to claim a low cross. The NYCFC player and an Atlanta United player were moving toward the goal as Guzan was coming out to claim the ball. After being examined by trainers, he stayed in the game.

Guzan declined to comment after the game.

Etienne thought he had scored his first goal for the club in the 22nd minute but he was flagged for offside after cleaning up an Almada shot that was saved by Barraza. Etienne said he needed to see the play again.

“I think we’re just a little bit off unfortunately not to get a goal in the first half,” he said. “But then to go down to 10 men and get a point on the road is a good result.”

Atlanta United missed another chance around the 28th minute when Almada played in Lennon behind NYCFC’s defense. Lennon attempted to hit a short cut-back cross to an onrushing Giakoumakis, but the ball was too far behind him and the chance ended.

Atlanta United kept up its pressure in the second half. A diving header by Sejdic, who was first to a corner at the back post, in the 51st minute was palmed off the line by Barraza, who dove back to his left to keep the game scoreless.

Ibarra and Sands both suffered after challenging each other for a loose ball in the 61st minute. Ibarra’s cleats went into Sands’ lower leg. Both were seen by trainers. Ibarra was given a red card after a review by referee Drew Fischer, reducing Atlanta United to 10 players.

“I’m actually just gonna say a lot of calls were disappointing,” Etienne said.

Pineda brought on Sosa and Matheus Rossetto in an attempt to shore up his short-handed side in the 65th minute. They came on for Etienne and Sejdic. Machop Chol came on for Araujo in the 85th minute.

NYCFC took an additional six shots in the final minutes as it tried to find a winning goal. It finished with 14.

“It shows the mentality of this group, and everyone in the locker room was a little bit disappointed that we didn’t get three points,” Lennon said. “But if watch the game, the fighting spirit from everybody was really, really class.”

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Atlanta United’s 2023 MLS schedule

Feb. 25 Atlanta United 2, San Jose Earthquakes 1

March 4 Atlanta United 1, Toronto FC 1

March 11 Atlanta United 3, Charlotte FC 0

March 18 Atlanta United 5, Portland 1

March 25 Columbus 6, Atlanta United 1

April 1 Atlanta United 1, New York Red Bulls 0

April 8 Atlanta United 1, New York City FC 1

April 15 at Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m.

April 23 vs. Chicago Fire FC, 4:30 p.m., FS1

April 29 at Nashville SC, 1:30 p.m., Fox

May 6 at Inter Miami CF, 7:30 p.m.

May 13 vs. Charlotte FC, 7:30 p.m.

May 17 vs. Colorado Rapids, 7:30 p.m.

May 20 at Chicago Fire FC, 8:30 p.m.

May 27 at Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m.

May 31 vs. New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m., FS1

June 3 at Los Angeles FC, 10:30 p.m.

June 10 vs. D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.

June 21 vs. New York City FC, 7:30 p.m.

June 24 at New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.

July 2 vs. Philadelphia Union, 4 p.m., Fox

July 8 at CF Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

July 12 at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.

July 15 vs. Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m., FS1

Aug. 20 at Seattle Sounders, 10:30 p.m.

Aug. 26 vs. Nashville SC, 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 30 vs. FC Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 2 at FC Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

Sept. 16 vs. Inter Miami CF, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 20 at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 23 vs. CF Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 4 at Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 7 vs. Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 21 at FC Cincinnati, TBA