Tired legs may have gotten to Atlanta United as they visited the New England Revolution on Saturday night, as neither team was able to find the scoreboard nearly two and half weeks after Atlanta hung seven on the Revs.
The play on the field tilted ever so slightly toward New England as they controlled play relatively well, much better than they did when they lost to Atlanta 7-0 a few weeks ago. Atlanta came oh so close to make it 1-0 in the 14th as Anton Walkes dealt a perfect cross into the box to an unmarked Tito Villalba, but the resulting header found the wrong side of the bar. Brad Guzan was able to erase New England’s chance in the 23rd as Diego Fagundez came in alone in his bid to make it 1-0. There would be a turning point in the match in the 26th minute as Greg Garza would need to give way for Yamil Asad due to what looked to be a hamstring injury. As far as play was concerned, neither team gave away too much as the match would go to the half scoreless in a far cry from the demolition at Mercedes-Benz Stadium the last time these two met. Part of it was some bad decision making by Atlanta, but they weren’t completely lacking for good chances in the half.
United had a great chance early in the second half as Julian Gressel came in on the right side and crossed it in to Martinez, but the striker missed high in the 47th minute. Another cross by Gressel in the box in the 50th was snagged by Brad Knighton as Atlanta had the better of the play coming out of the locker room. But things began to even out as New England weathered the early storm and testing Guzan a little more often as time went on, while United started to show a little fatigue and more ill-advised decisions as a busy stretch of games began to catch up to them. Overall, it wasn’t the most exciting half of soccer as the match ended as it began: with no goals between the two sides.
New England led the shot battle 14-12, with five of those on frame to Atlanta’s two. Brad Guzan and the Atlanta defense pulled out their fourth clean sheet in a row and their fifth in seven matches, but they may come away with this one hoping that United had found the scoreboard at some point during the night to take a full three points away from home.
Atlanta returns to Mercedes-Benz Stadium to face fellow expansion side Minnesota United at 7pm on Tuesday, the final match before the international break.