New York City FC started their 2023 Leagues Cup campaign with a 1-0 home loss to Atlas FC. NYCFC dominated possession but only mustered two shots on goal. New York City midfielder Justin Haak seemed to score in the 87th minute, but a lengthy VAR check controversially chalked the goal offside. On a more positive note, Mounsef Bakrar made his first appearance for NYCFC in the 81st minute and looked sharp: Here are your NYCFC highlights.
Atlas got things started early in the seventh minute with a goal from Aldo Rocha via a corner kick. NYCFC defended poorly on the set piece, allowing Rocha to run unmarked to the back post. From there, New York City struggled to break down Atlas and create chances. It was another frustrating game for NYCFC fans, as the team lacked intensity and life.
Things changed when Bakrar made his debut. New York City instantly had a great chance from Bakrar, who forced Camilo Vargas into his first save of the night. NYCFC then found their equalizer from Justin Haak, but VAR had other ideas for the Homegrown and disallowed the goal. It was another controversial call that didn’t go New York City’s way.
Overall, a poor mistake on defense cost the game for NYCFC once again. New York City now prepares for their next Leagues Cup match against Toronto FC on Wednesday. Even a poor-form NYCFC are the favored team, as Toronto are currently on a dreadful six-game losing streak.