April 16, 2018 / 12:12 AM / 9 months ago

Villa helps NYCFC rally for draw at Atlanta

David Villa came off the bench to score a goal and assist on the equalizer to keep visiting New York City FC unbeaten and atop the Eastern Conference table with a 2-2 draw at second-place Atlanta United on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Villa scored on a penalty kick in the first half and set up Alexander Ring for the tying tally in the 73rd minute of a well-played contest between a pair of contenders.

Atlanta’s Greg Garza and Chris McCann scored goals, and Miguel Almiron had a hand in each of them for United, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.

Garza put Atlanta on the board first, scoring off a rebound from a shot by Almiron in the 29th minute.

NYCFC forward Jo Inge Berget set up Villa’s tying penalty kick. Berget made a soft touch on a ball inside the box, forcing Atlanta defender Michael Parkhurst to attempt a sliding tackle that resulted in a foul. Villa, who came off the bench in the 35th minute, beat Atlanta keeper Brad Guzan inside the left post on the ensuing penalty kick in the 38th minute.

Two minutes later, Atlanta had a goal taken away after a video review showed Josef Martinez was offside and interfered with NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson on a blast by Darlington Nagbe from just outside the box. The game went into intermission tied 1-1.

McCann gave Atlanta a 2-1 lead in the 56th minute, heading home a perfect left-to-right cross from Almiron. It was McCann’s first goal with United, and Almiron’s fourth assist of the season.

Atlanta defenseman Ezequiel Barco, who signed a record $15 million contract in the offseason, made his debut with United. He entered the game in the 70th minute after missing the first month of the season with a quad injury.

Both teams head west next. New York City FC (5-0-2) travels to Portland on April 22 to take on the Timbers. Atlanta (4-1-1) is at Los Angeles FC on Saturday.

—Field Level Media

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