NYRB 2-0 Atlanta: Supporters’ Shield race not over yet

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The New York Red Bulls did the impossible. They held Atlanta United scoreless for a full 90 minutes.

The hosts kept their Supporters’ Shield hopes alive by beating visiting Atlanta United 2-0, ahead for good on a first-half penalty by Daniel Royer. The penalty was given after¬†Chris McCann clearly handled the ball on a set-piece as Aaron Long looked to nod in a corner with his head. Royer sent Brad Guzan the wrong way from the spot to give New York the advantage.

They would kill the game off with 16 minutes to go as Alex Muyl timed his run perfectly and slid to chip the ball over a charging Guzan, leaving Tim Parker to tap in on the doorstep.

Atlanta struggled mightily against New York’s defense, holding 55% possession but only managing one lone shot on target out of seven attempts on goal. Meanwhile, Guzan had plenty of work to do, needing a big save to keep Kaku out late with Atlanta already down 2-0.

The result marked the first time since a May 9th loss to Sporting KC that Atlanta United was held without a goal in Major League Soccer play. It also means New York completes the double over Atlanta this season, although head-to-head record is not a tiebreaker used by MLS in the standings. The result does, however, push New York within two of Atlanta on goal differential, with Atlanta at +27 and New York at +25.

The win pulls New York within one of Atlanta, and each team has three games remaining. Atlanta has home games against New England and Chicago before a visit to Toronto to end the season. New York, meanwhile, has road trips to San Jose and Philadelphia before finishing at home against Orlando City.