Alex Callens scored the tying goal in the 77th minute off a feed from star David Villa as NYCFC earned a 1-1 tie with the Atlanta United Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
The matchup between the league’s top two teams saw NYCFC control possession for 60.6 percent of the time, get 13 corner kicks and take 25 shots.
NYCFC had little to show for it due to Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan’s performance.
NYCFC finally broke through when Callens finished the play by diving and putting a header by Guzan into the right side of the net. Callens scored his third career MLS goal after Villa headed the corner kick from Maximiliano Moralez through the box.
Callens helped NYCFC remain two points behind Atlanta for the lead in the Eastern Conference. NYCFC is idle until June 24 due to the World Cup break while Atlanta visits Columbus on Wednesday before the break.
Villa nearly had a second assist when he fed Moralez but his shot went off the right foot shortly before the game ended.
Before Callens scored, it was a frustrating day for NYCFC, especially Villa. Villa had plenty of chances to score, but five of his 10 shots were stopped by Guzan.
Villa tied a career high by taking 10 shots for the fourth time and recorded his 25th career assist after seeing limited action in last Saturday’s 3-0 win over Orlando City FC.
Guzan helped Atlanta get a point by a making a career-high 10 saves. His previous career best was six saves.
Josef Martinez scored his league-leading 13th goal in the 48th minute as Atlanta dropped to 8-1-3 when scoring first and played its second draw against NYCFC this season.
Martinez scored after shaking off an ankle injury in the 20th minute when he was tackled in the box.
Martinez scored on an effective play early in the second half. He eluded NYCFC defender Sebastien Ibeagha, waited for midfielder Julian Gressel’s long cross and simply bounced a header by a sprawling Sean Johnson.
Johnson was barely tested as he made one save while Atlanta totaled six shots.