Valentin Castellanos leads NYCFC to draw with Atlanta

ByReuters via ESPN logo
Sunday, July 3, 2022

Valentin Castellanos scored twice to move into a share of the MLS scoring lead but New York City Football Club blew a late lead and settled for a 2-2 draw with the visiting Atlanta United on Sunday afternoon.

NYCFC (8-4-5, 29 points) moved back into first place in the Eastern Conference and improved to 7-1-4 in its past 12 games.

Castellanos scored in the 37th minute and again in the 58th. It was his 10th career two-goal game.

Josef Martinez scored for the second straight game and Dom Dwyer scored late in the second half for Atlanta (5-7-5, 20 points), which saw its road winless streak reach seven games (0-5-2).

NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson made six saves, including four on Luiz Araujo. Johnson made five of those saves in the opening half, including three on Araujo in a six-minute span between the 25th and 31st minute.

Atlanta rookie goalie Rocco Rios Novo did not record a save as Castellanos' goals accounted for two of the three shots on target for NYCFC. The squad took 13 shots in total.

Moments after his header sailed high and he missed the net with a right-footed shot, Castellanos got his ninth goal of the season. He received a pass from Talles Magno, slipped past Atlanta defender George Campbell and buried a right-footed shot inside the left post.

Atlanta finally tied it in 56th minute thanks to a brilliant play from Martinez. Martinez got a pass from Thiago Almada and finished the play off by executing a diving header as the ball sailed by Johnson's left arm.

New York quickly regained the lead when Castellanos easily found position in the center of the box and waited for a pass from Magno. He then finished it off by lifting a right-footed shot into the middle of the net.

Dwyer leveled the game in the 86th when he tucked a right-footed shot into the bottom left corner.

--Field Level Media