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Atlanta United falls to league leader Toronto FC in last minutes, drops out of playoff spots

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Atlanta’s loss to Toronto leaves the Five Stripes with a 5-10-4 record.

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Toronto FC David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

After 88 minutes of what seemed destined to end in a draw, Atlanta United conceded an 89th minute goal to drop all three points at Rentschler Field Sunday night.

Lineups

Tonight’s match saw Marcelino Moreno, who made his Atlanta United debut against DC United, return to the match day squad. Ezequiel Barco also featured in the squad for the first time since Sept. 12.

Highlights

Alejandro Pozuelo nearly finished off a convincing Toronto move in the penalty area, but Brad Guzan said no in the 7th minute.

Toronto took a hopeful shot from outside the penalty area, but the real highlight here was Guzan’s expletives caught by microphones close to the field. Class.

Shortly after, Michael Bradley entered the game and replaced Jonathan Osorio, who picked up an injury.

In the 26th minute, Jurgen Damm ran in behind Toronto’s backline and set up a teammate for what was Atlanta’s best chance at that point.

Guzan faced two shots around the 39th minute that he handled well to keep Atlanta and Toronto even at 0-0.

Then John Gallagher megged Laurent Ciman and that was fun.

Atlanta finished the half without a single shot on target while Toronto finished with four so, yeah.

Moreno and Barco both came in after the halftime break, replacing Emerson Hyndman and Jake Mulraney respectively. The substitutions also marked the first time since Aug. 29th that Atlanta has played with two (2) Designated Players at the same time, per Doug Roberson of the AJC.

Toronto’s Pozuelo unleashed a spectacular shot from the top of Atlanta’s penalty area around the 50th minute, but he wasn’t able to get it under the crossbar.

Substitute Cubo Torres nearly scored off a Brooks Lennon cross in the 66th minute, but Toronto goalkeeper Quentin Westberg pulled off an impressive save to maintain order.

Then the goal happened. In the 89th minute.

Pain.

Takeaways

  • That was extremely disappointing. Taking a point back to Atlanta from a team as good as Toronto (though they weren’t at full strength tonight) would have been a great result.
  • Seeing Moreno and Barco both come on was refreshing. After a great deal of speculation about Barco’s injury and his future, that’s one less factor that the team has to worry about. Getting Moreno and Barco on the field together is the next step, I guess.
  • Jurgen Damm showed what he can add to Atlanta’s game plan and was pretty solid in the first half.
  • So, now Atlanta is outside the playoff spots. The team’s upcoming match against DC is going to be crucial seeing that

Man of the Match

I don’t know.

Tweet of the Match

What’s Next?

Atlanta plays D.C United again this upcoming Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00.