Atlanta United to undergo ‘self-reflection’ after RBNY loss

Atlanta United head coach Gonzalo Pineda is hoping Thursday’s 2-1 defeat to the New York Red Bulls will force his players into a period of ‘self-reflection’.

The Five Stripes arrived in Harrison, New Jersey, on a run of just one win in six games across all competitions, crashing out of the US Open Cup and sliding down the Eastern Conference standings.

Despite their poor form, Atlanta dominated the opening three-quarters of Thursday night’s match and even took the lead in the 75th minute through Josef Martinez – the club’s first-ever goal at Red Bull Arena.

But, as has been the case throughout the 2022 campaign, the Five Stripes conspired to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, pressing the self-destruct button twice in the final 10 minutes.

First, Caleb Wiley lunged in on Brazilian playmaker Luquinhas to concede a penalty, which Lewis Morgan easily dispatched. Then, in the final minute of normal time, Alex De John cheaply lost the ball to Serge Ngoma, allowing the 16-year-old to run free into the box and find the winning goal.

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