Atlanta United 2 lost 2-1 to the Tampa Bay Rowdies in heart breaking fashion on a rainy and slippery Wednesday night at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. With Hurricane Sally causing havoc in the southeast, this match was not spared. The conditions made for an extremely sloppy affair with both teams struggling to string competent attacks together. However, it would be the guests who managed to steal the points at the very last minute.
The 2’s started the match brightly and on the front foot, taking it to the division leaders in the opening 20 minutes. Despite looking dangerous and controlling the play they never really threatened to score.
The tides began to turn soon after with the Rowdies taking full control. A barrage of attacks on Atlanta’s goal could only muster several corner kicks with nothing to show for them, while Vincente Reyes held strong in net for the 2’s.
Atlanta’s best chance to break the first half deadlock fell to Phillip Goodrum. A series of passes eventually left the Nashville native with a tight angle chance but Evan Louro stood tall to deny the game’s first goal.
Tampa Bay would get the breakthrough just five minutes into the second 45 off a corner kick. Former Charleston Battery defender Forrest Lasso headed a shot that Reyes couldn’t control cleanly and it trickled over the line. The combination of rainy and rubber was too much for the Atlanta goalkeeper in the moment.
The sloppiness of hurricane soccer would play into the 2’s favor just 10 minutes later when Goodrum whipped in a cross that Rowdies defender Jordan Scarlett could only clear into his own net to level that match at 1-1.
Each team had a chance to snatch all three points before full-time, but it would be the Rowdies who would steal the spoils in the very last minute of second half stoppage time. Sebastián Guenzatti would be the hero after he found the ball at the top of the 18-yard box and smashed an unstoppable winner past Reyes to break Atlanta hearts.
- USL soccer in hurricane conditions isn’t very attractive!
- Despite playing the top team in Group H, the 2’s held their own and proved they can play with anyone on any night.
- Jackson Conway returning to the XI was a much-needed spark to the attacking dynamics of the side. While he didn’t get many looks on goal, he was influential whenever Atlanta was able to attack.
Atlanta United 2 host New York Red Bulls II in a week’s time on September 23 at 7:30 p.m. ET in their penultimate match of the regular season schedule.