Atlanta United Tops FC Cincinnati 2-1

ATLANTA — Atlanta United defeats FC Cincinnati 2-1 at Mercedes Benz Stadium in front of a home crowd of 69,301 in attendance, which is the tenth-largest crowd in MLS history. Atlanta holds the record for all ten.

Atlanta United head coach Frank De Boer on the win, “I think overall the team gave a great effort, but I know we can play much better. But it starts with giving great effort.”

Atlanta United played in this match without their sensational scorer Josef Martinez who suffered a torn ACL against Nashville SC in their season opener.

Both teams came out aggressive, a yellow card was issued to Kendall Watson of FC Cincinnati in the fourth minute. The Five Stripes started the match in a 3-4-2-1 formation with Adam Jahn starting in Josef Martinez’s position. FC Cincinnati began in a 4-1-4-1 formation. Atlanta made good use of the field finding vulnerabilities in Cincinnati’s formation with good looks at the goalkeeping FC Cincinnati’s goalie  Spencer Richey on his heels. FC Cincinnati was able to move downfield on the outside of Atlanta United’s formation, their attempts would come the side of the goal.

The first goal of the match would come in the 21st minute by Ezequiel Barco from a short distance with an assist from the right side of the goal by Pity Martinez. Barco had several good looks at the goal before the score. It appeared that the lack of attention in the middle created opportunities for Atlanta United as they moved with the ball and stretched the field. Laurence Wyke and Juergen Locadia both injured after a collision in the 27th minute, both safely walked off the field. United appeared to control the pace of the match in the first half as Cincinnati’s aggression on defense increased trying to keep up. A yellow was issued in the 34th minute to Greg Garza from FC Cincinnati.

The Orange and Blue turned up the pace offensively at the end of the first half, Brad Guzan with a strong defensive save in the 40th minute. At the end of the first half, the Atlanta United led the match 1-0.

Guzan had his work cut out for him at the beginning of the second half, he made two close saves, as Cincinnati pushed toward the goal. Atlanta displayed some struggles defensively they were down three defensive players. FC Cincinnati continued with penalties in the second half with a yellow card shown to Frankie Amaya in the 53rd minute.  

Atlanta United would score another goal in the 54th minute by Emerson Hyndman from the center of the goal with the assist by Ezequiel Barco which advanced their lead by two. FC Cincinnati would answer in the 64th minute with a goal from Yuya Kubo in the back corner of the goal making the score 2-1 cutting the Five-Stripe lead to one.

Matheus Rossetto picks up Atlanta’s first yellow card of the match in the 75th minute. Both teams displayed good ball movement in the second half, beating themselves at the goal with mistakes. In the 88th minute FC Cincinnati with yet another yellow card shown to Allan Cruz, after a replay review.

The game ended with the final score Atlanta United 2 and FC Cincinnati 1. Emerson Hyndman is named man of the match. The Five-Stripes go to 2-0 on the season and they travel to Mexico City to face their next opponent Club America.

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