Atlanta Goals: Garza 29', McCann 59'
NYCFC Goals: Villa 39', Ring 72'
David Villa scored the 399th goal of his career and Alex Ring scored a stunner as New York City FC stayed unbeaten for 2018, coming away from Atlanta United with a point thanks to a 2-2 draw.
The Boys in Blue twice recovered deficits, hitting back in both halves to earn their share of the spoils.
Head Coach Patrick Vieira made two changes to his winning midweek XI for this meeting City's fellow MLS pacesetters.
Ben Sweat and Alex Ring were both restored to the lineup as the Boys in Blue made their first trip to the impressive Mercedes Benz Stadium.
A cagey, fragmented start between these two in-form sides ensued, with neither team eager to show their hands too early, meaning it wasn't until the 12th minute the game had its first chance.
It fell for NYCFC and for Berget who drove at the heart of the Atlanta backline and ripped off a right-footed thunderbolt which Brad Guzan could only beat away from danger.
Eight minutes later, Guzan was tested again when Jesus Medina worked himself into a good position for an angled shot across the Atlanta 'keeper who parried it wide at full stretch.
It was a bright start for the Boys in Blue but it would be punctured by a goal against the general run of play on 29' as Garza cleaned up the rebound when Sean Johnson had gotten down well to save from Almiron.
Things got worse for the visitors moments later when Ismael Tajouri-Shradi limped out of the game with a suspected hamstring strain.
That said, David Villa was not a bad man to have in reserve and he wrote his name on the scoreboard just three minutes after his introduction, scoring the 399th of his storied career from the penalty spot after Berget was brought down on a jinking dribble.
It looked as though Atlanta had restored their lead just before the interval but, on a VAR review, Darlington Nagbe's shot from range was chalked off due to a (correct) offside call after it emerged that Josef Martinez had impeded Johnson.
15 minutes after the restart, the hosts were back on top, retaking the lead thanks to McCann's powerful downward header but the Boys in Blue showed another great reaction, with Villa worrying Guzan on multiple occasions with his fleet feet and opportunistic eye for goal.
It was El Capi who laid on the equalizing goal which it came on 72' through the returning Ring, who scored his first goal for NYCFC with a Goal of the Season contender: a laser-guided rocket to the upper 90' via the underside of the crossbar.
City had been good value for at least a share of the points and that's they got - a point to take home to New York after another resilient road show.
Alex Ring won't forget his first goal for NYCFC... not ever.
The Finland international scored the screamer he's been threatening ever since he joined the club in 2017, smashing in from 25 yards.
It was one of those strikes where the ball didn't even appear to spin as it rocketed in off the woodwork.
A world class second equalizer from the Boys in Blue.
NYCFC.com Star of the Game…
Making his first start for a month, Alex Ring showed no signs of rustiness as he played a decisive role on both sides of the ball on Sunday night.
Scoring his first City goal with a stunning hit from the edge of the box, the Finn also made a brilliant interception in the first half to deny Almiron a run on goal.
Social Post of the Match…
Stats and Milestones
- NYCFC are still unbeaten for 2018 (P7 W5 L0 D2)
- David Villa scored his second goal of the season and the 399th of his career
- Villa scored three minutes after his introduction from the bench
- Alex Ring started a game for the first time since March 17
- Ring scored his first New York City goal
- NYC's record vs. Atlanta now stands at P3 W1 L1 D1
How They Lined Up…
NYCFC XI: Johnson, Tinnerholm, Chanot, Callens, Sweat, Ring, Herrera, Moralez, Tajouri-Shradi (Villa 35'), Berget (Wallace 61'), Medina (Matarrita 86')
SUBS: Stuver, Hountondji, Ofori, McNamara
NYCFC are back on the road again next weekend, traveling to Portland for next Sunday's 6pm kick-off. We're back in the Bronx on Sunday April 29 vs. FC Dallas. Get your tickets below...