Atlanta United edge Toronto FC on goal in final seconds

League: MLS

Posted on: 30 Jun, 2024 at 05:15 AM

Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Jamal Thiare scored an unlikely goal in the final seconds of second-half stoppage time as Atlanta United defeated Toronto FC 2-1 on Saturday night to snap a home winless streak that stretched nearly three months.

Thiago Almada, the subject of transfer rumors, also scored for Atlanta (6-8-6, 24 points), which had gone seven matches at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (0-5-2) since a 3-0 win over Chicago on March 31.

Federico Bernardeschi tallied for Toronto (7-11-3, 24 points), which has lost four league matches in a row and is winless in seven straight (0-5-2).

Toronto goalkeeper Luka Gavran made three saves, all in the second half, but committed a gaffe on the deciding tally. Gavran caught an Atlanta cross and dropped to the turf in an effort to run out the clock. Unaware that Thiare was lurking behind him, Gavran got up and rolled the ball toward the top of the 18-yard box. Thiare stepped in front of the goalie, stole the ball and spun before putting a shot into the empty net.

Almada gave Atlanta a 1-0 lead two minutes into first-half stoppage time. Defender Derrick Williams played a through ball to Almada from midfield before Almada worked a give-and-go with Daniel Rios, sending the Argentinian free down the left wing. Almada's low shot from 12 yards out beat Gavran, who was making his fourth straight start with Sean Johnson on international duty with the U.S. team at Copa America.

The lead didn't last long as Bernardeschi tallied in the opening minute of the second half. Lorenzo Insigne sent a long pass from his own half down the right wing, allowing Bernardeschi to run down the ball near the top of the penalty area. Bernardeschi cut back toward the middle of the pitch and threaded a low shot from 15 yards between three defenders and into the far side netting, just beyond the reach of diving Atlanta goalie Brad Guzan.

Toronto appeared to have gone in front in the 25th minute on a header from the top of the 6-yard box by Insigne, but after a lengthy video review it was determined the Italian was offside on the cross from Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty.

--Field Level Media