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Atlanta defeats FC Cincinnati 2-0, keeps post-season hopes alive

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Atlanta’s win on Sunday night means Atlanta still has a chance to make 2020 postseason.

MLS: FC Cincinnati at Atlanta United FC Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta United swept away FC Cincinnati after defeating the 2019 expansion side 2-0 inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium Sunday night. Atlanta United knew the stakes going into the match: lose and the season is over. After tonight’s win, Atlanta could still squeak into the playoffs (though attempting to beat the Columbus Crew will prove to be a different animal).

Lineups

According to Mike Conti, Barco hasn’t trained since picking up an injury in Orlando last Wednesday. The Argentine passed a fitness test to be included on the bench.

Former Atlanta striker Brandon Vazquez (19), who Atlanta lost in the 2019 expansion draft last November, started up top for Cincinnati.

Vazquez’s start against his former team brought the striker to 50 MLS appearances.

Highlights

Atlanta United found the back of the net in the opening ten minutes. Jurgen Damm showed his individual ability to take players on the dribble, beating his man on the right side, cutting the ball across the penalty area and finding Adam Jahn for a simple finish to put Atlanta up 1-0.

Cincinnati got a pair of unconvincing shots away around five minutes later, but the scoreline remained 1-0.

Adam Jahn picked up a yellow card for hacking down an FC Cincinnati player in the 22nd minute. This sequence was particularly interesting because Franco Escobar was hacked down

John Gallagher drew a foul in the opposition’s penalty area in the 24th minute. Marcelino Moreno stepped up and dispatched the ball past Spencer Richey to double the Five Stripes’ lead.

Captain Jeff Larentowicz replaced Mo Adams, who picked up an injury around the 30th minute.

In the final two minutes of the first half added time, Guzan’s saves were keeping Atlanta in the match. The American dove to his bottom right to deny a long range effort and showcased his reflexes with a close range save to maintain the clean sheet heading into halftime.

Emerson Hyndman replaced Mattheus Rossetto at halftime.

After a few passes in and around Cincinnati’s penalty area, Moreno got a shot away in the 57th minute. The angle had gone by that point, and the deflected effort went straight into Richey’s hands.

Ezequiel Barco and Cubo Torres replaced Jurgen Damm and Adam Jahn respectively in the 61st minute.

Gallagher sent a ball into Cubo’s path and nearly put up a third for Atlanta in the last five minutes of the match.

The match finished 2-0. (The second half wasn’t as exciting.)

Takeaways

  • Let’s remember that this game involved FC Cincinnati.
  • Let’s also remember the context around Atlanta’s season.
  • The next match is where it really counts. We shouldn’t read too much into a win over Cincinnati, but the team did the job required of them, so kudos for that.

Injury Report

Mo Adams was forced off during the first half with a knock

Man of the Match

Marcelino Moreno

Tweet of the Match

What’s Next?

Well, Atlanta will face a familiar face in the Columbus Crew at MAPFRE Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 8th at 3:30. Atlanta will find out at the conclusion of that match if they fail to make into the playoffs for the first time in the club’s short history. See you then.