Giacomo Vrioni’s brace leads New England to 2-1 victory over Atlanta


FOXBOROUGH, MA – The New England Revolution (7-1-11, 22 pts.) were victorious 2-1 over Atlanta United Crew (6-6-9, 28 pts.) in an MLS match on Wednesday night.

The match kicked off at Gillette Stadium to a crowd of 25,000.

The team started their lineup in a 4-3-3 formation with Aljaลพ Ivaฤiฤ starting in net with a backline of (left back) DeJuan Jones, (center backs) Xavier Arreaga, and Henry Kessler, along with (right back) Nick Lima. The midfield spots were manned by Ian Harkes (left midfield), Matt Polster (central midfield), and Noel Buck (right midfield). The forward roles were manned by Dylan Borrero (left wing), Esmir Bajraktareviฤ‡ (right wing), and Giacomo Vrioni as the lone striker.

Midfielder Carles Gil were unavailable for tonight’s match due to injury.

In Carles Gil’s absence, midfielder Matt Polster wore the captain’s armband.

The match kicked off with New England starting from the center circle and quickly advancing the ball into Atlanta’s defensive third.

Atlanta had the first moment of the match just a few moments after the first minute when the strike by forward #16 Xande Silva was blocked with a sliding challenge by Henry Kessler.

Entering the 11th minute, New England gained the early lead.

After a through-ball by DeJuan Jones, the ball was collected by Giacomo Vrioni. He then took on two defenders and unleashed a low-driven shot into the bottom left corner for his 5th MLS goal this season.

New England’s next chance came in the 16th minute when Vrioni’s curling effort was met with a catch save by goalkeeper #1 Brad Guzan.

Atlanta then had another opportunity by forward #16 Xande Silva less than 4 minutes later than was met with a simple save by goalkeeper Aljaลพ Ivaฤiฤ.

In the 37th minute, Atlanta United defender #5 Stian Rode Gregersen was issued a yellow card.

New England’s next major chance came less than 30 seconds later when Ian Harkes’ long-distant effort was caught by goalkeeper #1 Brad Guzan.

Another opportunity came for New England in the 41st minute when Esmir Bajraktareviฤ‡ looked to square the ball centrally and found Nick Lima, but his effort went wide.

Entering the 44th minute, New England added to their lead.

Following a chipped back-post delivery by Noel Buck, Giacomo Vrioni connected with the ball first-time for his second goal of the match.

Atlanta had two chances to close out the half that were met with spectacular saves by goalkeeper Aljaลพ Ivaฤiฤ. The saves were met with fans chanting his name as the team entered halftime.

After the initial 45+3 minutes, New England entered halftime with a 2-0 lead.

The second half began with Atlanta starting in the center circle and swiftly advancing the ball into New England’s defensive third.

Atlanta had the first chance of the second half when midfielder #35 Ajani Fortune’s effort in the 47th minute was caught cleanly by goalkeeper Aljaลพ Ivaฤiฤ.

Atlanta’s next chance came in the 60th minute, also by #35 Ajani Fortune, that was met with a comfortable ground save.

In the 62nd minute, Revolution head coach Caleb Porter made his first change of the match by replacing Dylan Borrero with Andrew Farrell. Atlanta interim head coach Rob Valentino also made his first change by replacing midfielder #8 Tristan Muyumba with midfielder #9 Saba Lobzhanidze.

Just 5 minutes later, in the 67th minute, Revolution head coach Caleb Porter made his second change of the match by replacing Nick Lima with Brandon Bye.

Atlanta’s best chance of the second half came in the 72nd minute when defender #26 Caleb Wiley’s effort was deflected and struck the crossbar and out for a cornerkick.

Entering the 74th minute, Giacomo Vrioni scored a third, however, he was marked offsides.

In the 80th minute, Atlanta interim head coach Rob Valentino made his second change of the match by replacing defender #3 Derrick Williams with midfielder #28 Tyler Wolff.

Less than one minute later, Revolution head coach Caleb Porter made his third and fourth change of the match by replacing Xavier Arreaga and Ian Harkes with Dave Romney and Jonathan Mensah.

In the 89th minute, Atlanta interim head coach Rob Valentino made his final two changes of the match by replacing forward #16 Xande Silva and defender #11 Brooks Lennon with defender #2 Ronald Hernandez and midfielder #30 Elio Firmino.

Entering the 90th minute, Atlanta pulled one back.

Defender #2 Ronald Hernandez lofted the ball toward the back post for a headed finish by forward #19 Daniel Rios.

After the 90+4 minutes, the match concluded with New England holding onto the 2-1 victory.

With the result, New England move to 11th place in the MLS Eastern Conference. They are currently 2 points out of a playoff spot with 2 games in hand.

Caleb Porter and the New England Revolution (7-1-11, 22 pts.) head out west to face Western Conference side Seattle Sounders (7-7-7, 28 pts.). The match will kick off at Gillette at 10:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, July 6th. For more MLS content, you can find it on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app.

For more of Burt Granofsky’s photos, you can view them at this link.

Eastern Conference

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