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Wallace, Villa fire NYCFC past Atlanta in MLS

New York (AFP) – Reigning Major League Soccer Most Valuable Player David Villa celebrated his contract extension with New York City FC with a goal in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Atlanta United.

Former Spain and Barcelona star Villa returned from a one match absence due to illness and quickly made his presence felt at Yankee Stadium.

Gathering a pass from Rodney Wallace on the flank, he maneuvered through a clutch of Atlanta defenders and fired from the left.

Atlanta keeper Alec Kann’s tried to dive for the save, but Villa’s shot rocketed off the inside of the right post into the back of the net for a 1-0 New York lead in the 17th minute.

Villa’s strike came four days after the club announced he had inked a deal to stay in the Big Apple through the end of the 2018 season.

Wallace scored in the 60th minute and helped set up Maximiliano Moralez’s goal just a minute later for New York, who have won four of their last six matches.

Carlos Carmona scored in the 39th minute for Atlanta, who have only one win in their last six outings in their debut season in the league.

Atlanta were without Yamil Asad and Josef Martinez, who combined for eight goals in the first eight games. Asad served a one-game suspension for violent conduct in a loss to DC United while Martinez is nursing a thigh injury.

Minnesota United, the league’s other debut club this season, defeated Sporting Kansas City 2-0.

Abu Danladi, opened his account in his first MLS start and Christian Ramirez scored for the Loons.

But it was goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth who really starred, coming up with seven big saves despite suffering a bloody broken nose in a 55th-minute clash with forward Dom Dwyer.

After a lengthy period of treatment he stayed in the game and helped Minnesota seal their third win of the season.

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