New York City Football Club Goals:
Atlas F.C. Goals: Rocha 7'
New York City Football opened their Leagues Cup participation with a defeat against Atlas on Sunday night. The visitors took the lead in the seventh minute through Aldo Rocha at a corner kick. NYCFC dominated possession on the night and outshot their opponents, and they thought they'd found an equalizer in the 86th minute only for the goal to be ruled out by VAR. That would confirm the result for Atlas.
The beginning of NYCFC’s Leagues Cup campaign took place in Queens on Sunday night as they hosted Atlas.
Head Coach Nick Cushing named new signing Mounsef Bakrar to the bench, while there were four changes to the starting XI that took on Philadelphia Union last time out.
NYCFC mustered the first chance of the evening via Talles Magno in the fourth minute, but his effort was blocked.
Both teams were keen to start the group stages on the right foot, and Atlas were handed an early boost in pursuit of that when Aldo Rocha put them ahead after seven minutes.
Despite being a goal down the Boys in Blue were in full control of possession. Their opponents were proving difficult to break down and that put chances at a premium.
In the 17th minute, Santiago Rodríguez was given the chance to cause trouble from a set piece, but he was unable to keep his effort down.
At the other end, Atlas were still proving a threat as they searched for a second goal. In the 21st minute, Luis Reyes fired off a left footed effort from a difficult angle but it was well saved by Luis Barraza.
Two minutes later, Jordy Caicedo connected with a header in the six yard box, but his attempt was too high.
The two teams were now exchanging shots at goal and it was NYCFC’s turn next. First, Maxime Chanot had a shot from distance before Braian Cufré came close from inside the area.
Arguably the team’s finest move would come on the cusp of the half time whistle. A beautiful flowing move from left to right culminated with Cufré flicking the ball to Talles Magno in space at the top of the box. He wriggled free and fired off a snap shot that clipped the outside of the post as the fans sounded their appreciation.
The second period started with an early substitution for NYCFC as Gabe Segal entered the game in the 56th minute in place of Mitja Ilenič. He was joined on the field by Richy Ledezma five minutes later as he entered in place of Matías Pellegrini.
Set pieces were proving a consistent avenue for the Boys in Blue, and this time it was Cufré that was afforded the opportunity to draw the two teams level, but he could not keep his effort under the bar.
NYCFC's control of possession remained the same, but Atlas were proving a stern defensive test and granting little space in the final third. Ledezma was proving a threat with driving runs into space.
In the 79th minute, a brilliant long ball from Maxime Chanot found Ledezma free at the back post and his outstretched pull back was waiting to be slammed home, only for an Atlas defender to clear it away.
As the clock ticked toward the final ten minutes of regular time there was a debut for Mounsef Barker. The forward entered the game alongside Justin Haak as Talles Magno and Thiago Martins departed for the bench.
The striker almost made an instant impact after a brilliant pass from James Sands allowed Tayvon Gray to square it across goal - Bakrar denied by a good point blank. save from the goalkeeper.
In the 87th minute, NYCFC thought they had found their equalizer after a bouncing ball in the box eventually landed at the feet of Haak, and he fired in a low shot past the goalkeeper to level the game.
Following a lengthy review by the video assistant referee the goal was ruled out, with Haak adjudged to have been offside.
That would be the final act of the game and confirmed a narrow defeat for NYCFC.
How We Lined Up
Next up for New York City Football Club is a meeting with Toronto FC in Leagues Cup on Wednesday, July 26, at Red Bull Arena.
You can purchase tickets to the game here.
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