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Atlanta, Ga– The Atlanta United (8-3-1, 25 points) lose in a controversial called game by the referees to the New York Red Bulls (7-3-21 points) 3-1.
The biggest questionable call happened when Josef Martinez caught a loose ball and blew past Aaron Long and put moves on Meara which caused him to fall and he scored in a wide open net. After a review to see if Martinez committed a foul on Long, the referee reversed the call and ruled it a foul on Martinez.
“I don’t want to take credit away from the Red Bulls because they are a very good team, but it’s been very few times I’ve seen that call let alone as a penalty and it did have a affect on the game. We would have went to the half up 2-0,” stated Atlanta’s coach Tata Martino.
Another questionable call in which the referee called a foul on Leandro Gonzalez Pirez inside the 18-yard box, Daniel Royer was granted a penalty kick. Royer shot a floater in the middle of the net to tie it 1-1 in the 42nd-minute.
Pirez was accused of pulling down Royer. Perez, who was irate over the call seemed to not be guilty of the call but the call stood.
The Red Bulls aggressive style on defense disrupted the United’s offense early on and throughout the match. The press took Atlanta off their rhythm which caused multiple turnovers.
Early on, Guzan made a diving save on a strike that came from about 30 feet out. The defense was pressured multiple times in the first half.
Atlanta missed out on an opportunity in the 24th-minute when Martinez had a breakaway with only New York’s goal keeper Ryan Maera to beat. Maera made a diving save on the right side of the net to prevent the goal.
In the 26th-mintue, Ezequiel Barquo scored on a questionable non-offsides call. Miguel Almiron attempted a shot on goal but it got deflected. Barquo was able to collect it and shoot it off of Meara’s hands into the net.
In the 46th-mintue, Jeff Larentowic appeared to jump over a Red Bull player in which he was initially given a red call but was later changed to a yellow card after a review.
“It’s a lot of question marks of [VAR] it. To send someone off and then pull them back on the field. We had that happen to us twice this year and I think that’s a bit ridiculous,” stated Guzan.
New York quickly changed the momentum after Bradley Wright-Phillps scored on a header from an assist by Michael Murillo that just fled goalkeeper Brad Guzan’s reach in the 51st-minute.
Four minutes later, Wright-Phillps scored on another header that was centered right in front of Guzan. This time it was assisted by Kemar Lawrence in the 55th-minute to take a 3-1 lead.
Greg Garza was given a red card after trying to get a back the ball after losing it and sliding into the Red Bull defender in the 71st-minute.
A scary moment happened in the 74th-minute. Lawrence for the Red Bulls blocked a passed with his head while falling down and injuring himself. Lawrence remained down motionless for several minutes. He was later carried out on stretcher.
Even after a 12 minutes stoppage time, the United couldn’t capitalize being a man down and frustrated over the questionable calls.
New York Red Bulls 3, Atlanta United 1
Shots: 14-12 New York
Shots on Target: 7-6 Atlanta
Corner kicks: 5-4 Atlanta
Fouls committed: 15-14 New York
Saves: 6-3 New York
Clearances: 15-10 New York
Offside: 3-2 New York
Possession: 51-49 New York
Passing Accuracy: 74-71 New York
ATL – Ezequiel Barco 26’ [HIGHLIGHT]
RBNY – Daniel Royer (penalty) 42’ [HIGHLIGHT]
RBNY – Bradley Wright-Phillips (Michael Murillo, Alejandro Romero Gamarra) 51’ [HIGHLIGHT]
RBNY – Bradley Wright-Phillips 55’ (Alejandro Romero Gamarra, Florian Valot) [HIGHLIGHT]
RBNY – Florian Valot (yellow) 26’
ATL – Miguel Almiron (yellow) 42’
ATL – Jeff Larentowicz (yellow) 49’
RBNY – Tim Parker (yellow) 57’
ATL – Leandro Gonzalez Pirez (yellow) 65’
ATL – Greg Garza (red) 71’
RBNY – Conor Lade (yellow) 90+5’
ATLANTA UNITED STARTING LINEUP
Brad Guzan; Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Michael Parkhurst ©, Miles Robinson (Tito Villalba – 64’); Greg Garza, Jeff Larentowicz (Kevin Kratz – 64’), Darlington Nagbe, Julian Gressel; Josef Martinez, Miguel Almirón, Ezequiel Barco (Sal Zizzo – 72’).
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Mikey Ambrose, Brandon Vazquez, Romario Williams.
NEW YORK RED BULLS STARTING LINEUP
Ryan Meara; Kemar Lawrence (Conor Lade – 83’), Aaron Long, Tim Parker, Michael Murillo; Tyler Adams (Derrick Etienne – 79), Sean Davis; Daniel Royer (Alex Muyl – 90+6’), Alejando Romero Gamarra, Florian Valot; Bradley Wright-Phillips ©
Substitutes not used: Evan Louro, Aurelien Collin, Fidel Escobar, Vincent Bezecourt.
Christopher Penso (referee), Cameron Blanchard (assistant), Brian Poeschel (assistant), Fotis Bazakos (fourth), David Gantar (VAR).
- Jeff Larentowicz started his 350th career MLS game, tied for fifth place all-time in league history by a field player.
- Larentowicz also appeared in his 369th career game, which is good for sixth place all-time in league history by a field player.
- New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles missed his first MLS Regular Season game since he made his debut in September 2012, a span of a league-record 183 games.
- Ryan Meara is the first RBNY keeper not named Robles to start an MLS league match since Bill Gaudette started a 1-1 draw against the New England Revolution on Sept. 22, 2012.
- Leandro Gonzalez Pirez picked up his fifth yellow card and will miss the club’s next match (due to yellow card accumulation) against New England Revolution.
- It’s the third red card Atlanta has received this season, tied for the most of any MLS team.