This week, Atlanta United received a taste of away defeat after falling to the Montreal Impact, 2-1. Late misfortune in both halves proved to be a spoiler for Kenwyne Jones in his first start with Atlanta United. Here’s a recap of the match in Montreal:
Initially, the match was slow for Atlanta as Montreal found a good amount of pressure. This was highlighted by Ignacio Piatti’s chance in the 10th minute, which forced Alec Kann to a quick save. The Impact wanted to continue this tempo but a yellow card on their defender, Victor Cabrera, seemed to slow them down. Atlanta proceeded to find their first sense of attack around the 14th minute, with good chances from Jones.
The two teams traded attacks with the Impact being the more aggressive of them. However, Atlanta United’s back line was able to withstand the pressure from the likes of Piatti and Dominic Oduro. Their patience and hard work on defense was rewarded in the 40th minute with a goal from Jones. Assisted by Tito Villalba, Atlanta United was able to capitalize on the mistake from the Impact’s defenders to get Kenwyne his first goal in Atlanta.
After the goal, United found a boost of energy on the attack. Moments later, Jones had space in the box to take a shot on goal but it missed wide left. This momentum was short lived, as in first half stoppage time, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez was called for a foul in the box. The foul not only led to a converted penalty to tie 1-1, but to a questionable red card as well. This left the momentum and advantage to the Impact and frustration at the half with United.
Prior to the start of the 2nd, Tata substituted Anton Walkes for Julian Gressel to account for being a man down. Surprisingly, United sprung out of the half with the first attack, pressing the ball onto the Impact’s half. This too, was short lived, as the Impact countered Atlanta’s push leading to a corner.
With the exception of a few pushes to opposing half by Miguel Almiron, the Impact definitely had the upper hand on possession and attack. However this is where the defense, led by Alec Kann and Michael Parkhurst, showed their heart. There were challenges won in the box by some impressive defense and United held the 1-1 score line for as long as possible.
To give them fresh legs on the field, Tata substituted Jones for Kevin Kratz in the 73rd minute and Villalba for Chris McCann in the 80th Minute. The call came right on time as the Impact had one of their close chances in the 81st. However, it was snuffed out by Alec Kann and the defense. The defense was successful in the stop, but the play left Carlos Carmona shook up a bit. He seemed to be okay after while and continued to fight for the tie. Unfortunately this was not enough as in the 3rd minute of 4 added for stoppage time, Montreal scored. Anthony Jackson-Hamel was able to find the net on an extremly lucky/unlucky deflection goal to give the Impact the lead. The match ended with the 2-1 score line, giving Montreal their first win of the season.
This was pure misfortune at the last minute, but sometimes that’s how it shakes out. However, this Atlanta United team has shown us what they can do. Tata is a proven coach and this team is eager to be great. Overall, this match was a tough break for United in a hard fought battle. The team showed their speed and that they could play through adverse scenarios once again. A point would have been nice, but it’s a long season and we’re a young team — we’ll get it back.