Eleven days after being signed from a USL Championship, Tom Barlow scored his first MLS goal to lead a ten-man New York Red Bulls to a dramatic 1-0 win over Atlanta United at Red Bull Arena on Sunday afternoon. The Red Bulls snapped Atlanta’s five-game win streak and a 520-minute shutout streak in the process.
An incredibly lively first half ended without a goal but with plenty of narrative. The Red Bulls got the first and arguably best chance of the half in the third minute, when Kaku led a final-third break by stealing the ball from Pity Martinez; it finished with Marc Rzatkowski pinging a shot off the crossbar.
Josef Martinez had two particularly notable scoring opportunities in the second. The first, in the 29th minute, started with a near-full-field pass from Julian Gressel; Martinez beat Red Bulls defender Amro Tarek and left him on the ground, but Tarek managed to poke the ball away while still lying on the ground just as Martinez was about to strike. Then, in the 35th minute, Tim Parker knocked Martinez off-balance as he raced with the ball toward goal; Martinez was allowed to get the shot off, then referee Robert Siriga awarded a free kick just outside the box and hit Parker with a DOGSO red card, leaving the home side with ten men.
Both teams tried to position themselves with second-half subs, but it was Barlow going in for Brian White in the 55th minute that proved the ultimate difference maker. 10 minutes after entering the match, he got on the end of an audacious Daniel Royer cross, changing direction to head past Brad Guzan for the lead and the end of the Atlanta United scoreless streak. Atlanta threatened through the remainder of the half, finishing with 12 shots and 10 corners, but couldn’t find the equalizer.