clear
Friday November 24th, 2017 4:49PM

(VIDEO) Atlanta United lifts rafters, makes history but opens with 2-1 loss

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ATLANTA — From the moment Yamil Asad stabbed the ball into the back of the net and Bobby Dodd Stadium threatened to crumble under the weight of celebrations it looked as if Atlanta United was set for a thrilling beginning to their history as a franchise.

But the realities of the regular season bit hard in the second half, as New York Red Bulls scored two unanswered goals that -- combined with missed United opportunities -- sent Atlanta crashing to a 2-1 defeat in its first ever regular season game on Sunday.

(NOTE: To watch a video feature on Atlanta United's opening contest and the atmosphere around the city, simply click "play" on the video box above.)

Even the outcome could not dampen the atmosphere created by 55,297 boisterous fans, however. And, despite the final score, the entire day could hardly be deemed a loss for the infant franchise embarking on its very first Major League Soccer campaign.

“It was awesome to play in front of [the crowd],” defender Michael Parkhurst said. “It was awesome to see. They tried to give us a lift there in the second half and we appreciated that but it wasn’t meant to be. If we have an atmosphere like that every game, it’s going to be an awesome place to play.”

From the tailgaters crowding The Varsity parking lot, to the red-and-black clad supporters lining North Avenue, Atlanta certainly appeared a city united by one sport on Sunday. And when Asad put the home team in front after 24 minutes, steering home a perfectly curled cross from Tyrone Mears, it appeared that the momentum created might well overwhelm the visitors, who created precious few scoring chances in a first half highlighted by United's speedy attack.

Atlanta so nearly doubled its lead just before the interval, only to see New York goalkeeper Luis Robles deny United striker Josef Martinez at point-blank range after Greg Garza's low, driven cross found the United striker in front of goal.

A missed opportunity after the half proved equally costly when Atlanta midfielder Miguel Almiron burst through clear on goal before attempting to chip Robles from just outside the penalty area. The keeper reacted quickly, however, palming the looping shot away.

The Red Bulls, who began to squeeze space and gain control of the contest as the second half waned, equalized via a corner kick that Daniel Royer headed home in the 76th minute. The visitors then pushed in front in the 82nd minute, as Kemar Lawrence and Bradley Wright-Phillips combined to force an own goal from United substitue defender Anton Walkes -- Lawrence's cross and Wright-Phillips' challenge allowing the ball to slide underneath the diving defender and off his leg.

“The question could be what happened in the last 15 minutes,” Atlanta United head coach Tata Martino said. “We were much closer to converting a second goal. And in a series of errors that we made, they turned the score around, but I think we had started to control the game again up until they scored the equalizer.”

Atlanta battled to find its own equalizer but saw time run out -- an ejection for United midfielder Carlos Carmona in the 88th minute digging a deeper hole for the home side.

Atlanta will look to claim its first-ever win on Sunday, March 12, when United travels to face fellow expansion franchise Minnesota United. 

© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Kurt Busch recalls remarkable Sonoma run in 2012
Driving for Team Penske in 2011, Kurt Busch led 76 of 110 laps and beat Jeff Gordon to the checkered flag by 2.685 seconds to win the 2011 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.
6:00AM ( 8 hours ago )
Byron breaks through for first Xfinity win at Iowa
Just one week after losing out on his first-career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory by the thinnest of margins, William Byron finally got to roll into victory lane after winning Saturday night’s American Ethanol E15 250 at Iowa Speedway.
1:12AM ( 13 hours ago )
Josef Martinez tallies lone goal as Atlanta defeats Colorado
Atlanta United defeated Colorado Rapids 1-0 in front of a sold-out crowd of 44,938 fans at Bobby Dodd Stadium...
11:42PM ( 14 hours ago )
Sports
Sky hit late free throws to hold off Dream, 82-78
Allie Quigley scored 22 points and Stefanie Dolson added 19 to help the Chicago Sky beat the Atlanta Dream 82-78 on Friday night...
11:26PM ( 1 day ago )
Atlanta hosts Colorado looking to extend home winning streak
Atlanta United returns to action Saturday night against Western Conference opponent Colorado Rapids for the first meeting between the two clubs and the seventh-straight sellout at Bobby Dodd Stadium...
6:27PM ( 1 day ago )
Braves hit 4 HRs, use 8-run 5th to hold off Giants 12-11
Lane Adams delivered a pinch-hit, three-run homer in Atlanta's eight-run fifth inning and the Braves beat Matt Cain and the San Francisco Giants 12-11 in a rain-delayed game Thursday night...
12:50AM ( 2 days ago )
Professional Sports
US Soccer: Trump encouraging a World Cup with Mexico, Canada
Far from impeding a World Cup bid, souring diplomatic relations between the United States and Mexico emboldened those country's soccer leaders to find common ground through pursing one of the biggest events in sports.
By The Associated Press
8:45PM ( 2 months ago )
Opinion: Atlanta United providing something long awaited in this community
Let there be no doubt, soccer -- at least the spectacle of it -- has most definitely arrived in Atlanta...
8:44AM ( 3 months ago )
FIFA to expand World Cup to 48 teams in 2026
FIFA will expand the World Cup to 48 teams, adding 16 extra nations to the 2026 tournament that is likely to be held in North America.
By The Associated Press
9:00AM ( 5 months ago )
No mas Dos a Cero: Mexico sucker punch hands US men 2-1 loss
Rafa Marquez scored a tiebreaking goal on a header in the 89th minute, giving Mexico a 2-1 win Friday night and its first victory at the United States in World Cup qualifying since 1972.
By The Associated Press
11:11PM ( 7 months ago )
Atlanta's new MLS team will begin play at Bobby Dodd Stadium
After initially planning to spend its first three months on the road, Atlanta United will play some home games after all...
By The Associated Press
10:25PM ( 8 months ago )