New York Red Bulls 2, Atlanta United 0 | 2018 MLS Match Recap
The hosts took the lead when Daniel Royer smashed a first-half penalty kick into the top corner after Chris McCann was whistled for handball. The victory was effectively clinched with just over a quarter-hour to go, as Tim Parker tapped in from point-blank range in the wake of Alex Muyl lifting an angled shot over the sliding Brad Guzan.
The damage could've been worse: Guzan saved a late penalty struck by Kaku Gamarra and a Video Review decision waved off another PK call initially awarded to the Red Bulls by referee Robert Sibiga in the early going.
The result narrows the gap in the overall league standings between the two teams to just one point with three games remaining for each side, setting up a tense final sprint for the title of MLS regular-season champions. It also extends RBNY's mastery of ATLUTD, as the Red Bulls are now 3-0-1 in their four meetings with the Five Stripes to date.
- THE BIG PICTURE: This one gives everyone in the Eastern Conference playoff race, and beyond, plenty to chew on. Can ATLUTD stay on course for the Shield? Do RBNY have the recipe for denying them MLS Cup? Is the uncertainty around Tata Martino's future having an effect on his team? Get ready for a pulsating October.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The Five Stripes' potent attack means they're rarely out of contention in any game, but when Muyl reached Marc Rzatkowski's delicate through ball just before Guzan to set the Red Bulls' second goal in motion, it was curtains for the visitors:
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Though Parker and Kaku have strong claims to this honor, we'll hand it to Alex Muyl, whose rugged physical edge, relentless work rate and sharp ideas in attack epitomized his team's muscular performance.