New York City FC Goals: Tajouri-Shradi 69'
Atlanta United Goals:
New York City FC were back in action midweek against Gabriel Henize’s Atlanta United. The Boys in Blue secured a huge 1-0 win thanks to a 69th minute strike by Ismael Tajouri-Shradi - his fourth in four games.
New York City FC were on the hunt for a win on Wednesday night as Atlanta United traveled north for a midweek clash. NYCFC named the youngest XI in club history as Ronny Deila made several changes to the lineup.
Gudi Thórarinsson, Nicolás Acevedo, and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi came in for Malte Amundsen, Alfredo Morales, and Talles Magno, while Tayvon Gray also earned his first MLS start in place of Anton Tinnerholm.
Proceedings started at a quick tempo with the hosts looking to play through Atlanta’s press – something they managed as early as the 5th minute.
A strong run by Gray that started at right-back culminated with a great ball in behind the Atlanta defence for Jesús Medina to run onto – his shot blocked by Brad Guzan.
In the 15th minute a nice pass by Acevedo allowed him to play Tajouri-Shradi in, but his effort was straight at the goalkeeper.
The vistors were still able to pose a threat, primarily from wide areas. In the 27th minute, they earned a freekick on the left-hand side that forced a combination of Taty Castellanos and Gray to clear under pressure.
They followed that up with their first shot on Sean Johnson’s goal after a driving run by George Bello saw the ball fall into the path of Erik López, only for Johnson to tip it away.
Gray was proving a threat down the right in the first half, and another driving run inside resulted in his first shot at goal.
There was time for one more chance before the half ended, after some smart forward play by Castellanos earned NYCFC a free-kick just left of center. Jasson stepped up, but his curled effort did little to trouble Guzan.
The second period began with a moment of controversy after Keaton Parks appeared to be fouled in the penalty area, but no call was forthcoming.
In the 58th minute NYCFC turned to their bench and introduced Maxi Moralez and Tinnerholm in place of Jasson and Gray.
The tempo was once again rising, and a beautiful combination between Medina and Thórarinsson down the left allowed the latter to cross for Moralez to poke a shot at goal.
That saw Guzan produce a good stop that eventually fell to the feet of Castellanos, who saw his attempt blocked. At the other end, a 66th minute free-kick from Ezequiel Barco forced Johnson into a good save down to his left.
The hosts were determined to find the net and their moment finally arrived in the 69th minute. A turnover in the Atlanta half allowed Parks to slide a smart ball into the feet of Castellanos.
His cute pass into the path of Tajouri-Shradi allowed the forward to score his fourth goal in in four consecutive games to the delight of the crowd.
There was almost a second when Castellanos pounced on a poor touch by Anton Walkes to steal the ball away. To his credit, the Englishman recovered well to stop his opponent from getting a shot off.
75th minute saw a response from the Five Stripes as a cross by Brooks Lennon found George Bello at the back post – his volley going high and wide.
In the 84th minute Moralez was once again weaving his magic in the final third, and after nicking a loose ball away from the on-rushing Guzan he spun and curled a ball to the back post.
There waiting to try and convert was Castellanos, but his flying effort clipped the post. The 87th minute saw Deila turn to his bench with a double substitution that saw Amundsen and Morales replace Thórarinsson and Tajouri-Shradi.
They were joined on the pitch minutes later by Sebastien Ibeagha as he entered for Castellanos. In the end, Tajouri-Shradi's strike proved enough to give NYCFC an important 1-0 win and all three points.
Heineken Man of the Match
How We Lined Up
Next up for New York City FC is a meeting with D.C. United at Red Bull Arena on Sunday, June 27 with kickoff scheduled for 6:00PM ET (YES Network/NYCFC.com/Radio).