The New York Red Bulls came from a goal down in the final ten minutes to emerge with three points against Atlanta United at home on Thursday night at Red Bull Arena.
Sixteen-year-old Serge Ngoma was the late-match hero, notching the game-winner for his first career goal in the 89th minute, 30 minutes after checking in for his fourth appearance in MLS. The Red Bulls Academy product is the third youngest player to score a goal in club history and youngest player in the league to score this season.
New York had equalized just six minutes earlier on a penalty kick for Lewis Morgan. The Scottish winger has scored in three of the team’s last four matches across all competitions.
Red Bulls goalkeeper Carlos Coronel was clutch in keeping the game scoreless through most of the match. The Brazilian made two saves on quality attempts from Atlanta late in the first half and early in the second.
But it was Josef Martinez who came off the bench to put Atlanta United in the lead in the 75th minute. Sean Nealis came up with a major block on the goal line to initially deny the Red Stripes of the go ahead, but the former MLS MVP was there for a rebound tap-in.
Luquinhas made a return to the pitch in the second half after missing the last match and made an impact – creating several chances before drawing the penalty kick that eventually tied the game. Morgan took the attempt, seeing the keeper dive to his right before blasting a shot up the middle for the equalizer.
Ngoma sent Red Bull Arena into a frenzy just minutes later, stripping Atlanta center back Alex De John and heading in on a breakaway. He beat the backtracking keeper near post just before stoppage time, becoming the third youngest player in MLS history to score a game-winner in the 85th minute or later.
The victory is the New York’s fifth consecutive win at home in all competitions. The three points bring the Red Bulls up to 29 for the season, which puts tied atop the Eastern Conference.
July begins on the road for New York, with the club traveling to Kansas City on Sunday for an 8 p.m. showdown with Sporting.