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2022 Campeones Cup: NYCFC beat Atlas 2-0 for club’s first international trophy

New York City Football Club playing at home at Yankees Stadium took an early lead and didn’t let up to win the Campeones Cup against Liga MX rivals Atlas.

Joseph McMahon
Joseph McMahon
New York City Football Club playing at home at Yankees Stadium took an early lead and didn’t let up to win the Campeones Cup against Liga MX rivals Atlas.
Vincent CarchiettaUSA TODAY Sports

Atlas couldn’t get over the goal scored in the fourth minute of the first half and were unable to find the back of the net in the second half despite several chances. NYCFC came out victorious and hopefully the win will help them get out of the recent slump in league play in which they have only won 5 points in 10 league games.

The NYCFC early goal took the wind out of Atlas’ sails

Nearly four minutes after kickoff NYCFC scored the first goal when Gabriel Pereira’s free kick was headed by Nicolás Acevedo and all Alexander Callens had to do was knock the ball in. Atlas defenders thought it was offside, but the goal stood despite protests by the Atlas players.

Atlas dominated possession after the goal as they tried to equalize, but they couldn’t take advantage of their opportunities. NYCFC gradually gained back possession of the ball and had some other chances with free kicks and corners that Atlas successfully defended.

Brazilian striker Heber had to come off the field in the 29th minute due to injury. His NYCFC teammate and Brazilian counterpart Talles Magno came in to substitute him.

Tayvon Gray was booked in the 41st minute for taking a dive in the area and trying to fool the referee. Time ran out and the first half ended 1-0 in favor of NYCFC, who had a slight advantage in possession during the first 45 minutes (58%) and had more chances than Atlas.

Second half agony for Atlas

NYCFC picked up where they left off in the early minutes of the second half and surprised Atlas with another quick goal before the Mexican side knew what had hit them. At the four-minute mark NYCFC worked the ball nicely up the field and Maximiliano Moralez right footed a screamer into the bottom left corner to make it 2-0.

A lot of the credit of that goal has to go to the 20-year-old American Tyvon Gray, who eased the ball up the field and then made the last pass to assist his veteran Argentinian teammate Maxi Morález who knocked in a beautiful goal.

Atlas didn’t give up after being two down with 40 minutes still to play and Quiñones had a chance in the 53rd minute, but couldn’t find the back of the net. One minute later Atlas scored, but the goal was called back because of an offside infraction.

The Mexican forward Jonathan Herrera came on for his Ecuadorian teammate Anibal Chalá in the 55th minute to try to get something going for Atlas. The substitution was an offensive move and it seemed to work as Atlas had several chances during the next ten minutes, but couldn’t get the ball past Luis Barraza, NYCFC’s goalkeeper.

Ángel Márquez came on for Christopher Trejo in the 69th minute. Another substitution, this time for NYCFC in the 73rd minute saw Santiago Rodriguez come off and the Brazilian forward Thiago Andrade take his place.

Callens was booked for wasting time in the 79th minute and his teammate Moralez also saw a yellow card four minutes later for a foul on Santamaria. Shortly after Talles Magno almost scored the third goal of the night for NYCFC.

In the 85th minute there was a double substitution for the New York City FC: Maxi Moralez and Nicolás Acevedo came off the field and were replaced by Keaton Parks and Justin Haak.

In the final minutes Atlas brought Rodriguez for Flores and shortly after Reyes was shown a yellow card. Four extra minutes were added but NYCFC were able to move the ball around and keep it away for the Atlas players.

The game ended 2-0 in favor of the team for New York as the MLS celebrates another victory for one of its teams and the first international trophy for NYCFC.