New England Revolution 1, Atlanta United 1 | 2018 MLS Match Recap
Josef Martinez moved into the MLS Golden Boot lead with his ninth goal of the 2018 season, but Atlanta United couldn't quite find a second goal to put the game away — leaving the New England Revolution the opportunity for Teal Bunbury to convert an 88th minute penaly kick and salvage a 1-1 draw Wednesday evening at Gillette Stadium.
Atlanta opened the scoring, after a cagey first quarter of the match, in which Julian Gressel found Martinez with a precise pass from the right flank that set the striker up for a no-mistaking-it finish. The Revolution finished out their frustrating first half expending one of their subs, due to a Chris Tierney knee injury.
But the elusive second goal for Atlanta never came, though their chances included an Ezequiel Barco attempt nearly nudged in for an own goal on the recovery, and a Romario Williams shot that Revs' keeper Matt Turner tipped into the crossbar at a fortuitous angle.
New England's chance to equalize involved a pair of subs colliding in front of goal, with Krisztian Nemeth drawing contact from Kevin Kratz. That allowed Bunbury to step up to the spot and deliver his seventh goal of the year, and despite one last dangerous Atlanta play in stoppage time, it was enough to seal the draw.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Atlanta still sit atop the Supporters' Shield and Eastern Conference standings, but didn't get the separation they could have with the win. New England, meanwhile, proved themselves against another top team, boding well for their Saturday showdown against their longtime New York rivals.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The whistle in the box on Kratz, after Atlanta failed at multiple chances to put in an insurance goal, proved to be the difference between a gritty road win and a disappointing draw for the league leaders.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: In a match where a number of players had solid but hardly transcendent games, Turner has to get credit for weathering the worst of what the Five Stripes could muster in this match, and saving enough shots to leave the door open for the Revs to draw.