Atlanta United player’s sneaky move leads to game-winning goal against Toronto

2009


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Atlanta United forward Jamal Thiaré made a sneaky move in the closing seconds of their Major League Soccer matchup against Toronto FC to win on Saturday night.

Toronto goalkeeper Luka Gavran was set to boot the ball back down the field in the 97th minute after teammate Shane O’Neill blocked a shot from Atlanta’s Ronald Hernandez. Gavran dribbled the ball and placed it on the ground to kick it.

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Jamal Thiare and Shane Gavran

Atlanta United forward Jamal Thiaré, right, speaks with Toronto FC goalkeeper Luka Gavran during their match, Saturday, June 29, 2024, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

However, Gavran didn’t see Thiaré behind him. Thiaré was able to steal the ball in front of Gavran’s face, dribble to his right and nail the game-winning goal.

Fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium were elated as Atlanta won 2-1.

“I would say I’m on the younger side of coaching and the younger side of being in the game, but I have never seen anything like that,” Atlanta’s interim head coach Rob Valentino said after the match, via the team’s website. “I made the joke to Dax [McCarty], after I ridiculously went sprinting down the sideline, that he has played 20 years now and I bet he has never seen a finish like that. It was incredible, bizarre, but I’m glad we’re on this side of it.”

Luka Gavran sits

Toronto FC goalkeeper Luka Gavran sits on the field during the second half against Atlanta United, Saturday, June 29, 2024, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

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Atlanta’s Thiago Almada scored first, two minutes into stoppage time in the first half.

Toronto’s Federico Bernardeschi scored the equalizer in the 46th minute of the match. It was all tied at one apiece before Thiaré’s goal.

Jamal Thiare celebrates

Atlanta United forward Jamal Thiaré, second from left, and forward Tyler Wolff celebrate after the winning goal as Toronto FC midfielder Kosi Thompson, left, and goalkeeper Luka Gavran react, Saturday, June 29, 2024, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

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Atlanta is now 6-6-8 on the year while Toronto is 7-3-11. Atlanta is ninth in the MLS table and Toronto is eighth.

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