Detroit City FC stuns Mexican first division Club Atlas 2-1 before 7,478 spectators

The Detroit News
Detroit goalie Nate Steinwascher

Yazeed Matthews poached his first goal for Detroit City FC and it was perhaps the biggest one in club history.

The former AFC Ann Arbor player's strike in the 58th minute lifted DCFC to an improbable 2-1 victory over Liga MX Club Atlas in an international friendly Saturday before a 7,478 spectators at Keyworth Stadium.

Matthews latched onto a ball, which was redirected by Diego Casielles, and slammed it into the net past Atlas FC goalkeeper Camilo Vargas. 

DCFC Ryan Peterson engineered the play, directing a cross from the right flank into the 18-yard box.

Peterson shocked the Mexican visitors by scoring from 20 yards in the third minute. The former Rutgers standout turned and unleashed a right-footed blast that eluded Vargas past the right post.

Atlas FC's Facundo Barcelo leveled the match 15 minutes later, pouncing on a loose ball that DCFC's backline failed to clear inside the box. 

The opening goal by the home side unnerved Atlas, which is in sixth place in the Liga MX Apertura and returns to play rival Chivas Guadalajara next Saturday.

"They probably thought they would probably control the pace of the game, control the tempo of the game," said DCFC coach Trevor James in a postmatch interview with Neal Ruhl. "We've done that the last two or three games now where we've started on the front foot and we squashed people a little bit.

"We did that today and got off to good start. They (Atlas) had to come out a little bit. They had to force the came a little bit more than they thought they had to."

DCFC goalkeeper Nate Steinwascher made a fingertip save late in the first half to prevent Atlas from taking the lead.

The victory comes as Le Rouge is competing in the National Premier Soccer League Members Cup. DCFC is 2-0 with wins over Chattanooga FC and Napa Valley 1839 FC.

The club returns to Members Cup action on Saturday when it travels to Milwaukee to face Torrent. DCFC hosts the New York Cosmos B on Saturday, Sept. 21.