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Atlanta United 2 folds late in 2-1 loss to OKC Energy

At least there were goals in this one.

Mitchell Martin/Atlanta United

Atlanta United 2 gave up a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 to OKC Energy at Fifth-Third Bank Stadium on Sunday. The result moves Atlanta United 2’s record to 3-4-3 and leaves head coach Jack Collison’s team 8th in the Central Division. The 2’s now have one win in their last five matches.

Atlanta United 2 got their first well worked chance of the night less than five minute into the match. Robbie Mertz, who wore the captain’s armband on Sunday, was ultimately denied by OKC keeper CJ Cochran.

Robbie Mertz popped up with the ball in OKC’s penalty area a few times in the first half, but couldn't find the back of the net.

Atlanta United 2 scored its first and only goal of the night four minutes into the second half. Mertz played a perfectly weighted through ball into the path of Matias Benitez, who powered the ball into the roof of the net past the OKC keeper.

Atlanta United 2 continued to put the pressure on OKC, taking another well worked shot in the penalty area just two minutes after.

Rocco Rios Novo, a name some Atlanta United fans may have forgotten about since the beginning of the first team’s season, made a solid save in the 55th minute to keep Atlanta ahead of OKC.

In the 60th minute, Benitez won a free kick right outside the OKC penalty area (that probably definitely was inside the OKC penalty area).

Despite center referee Jervis Atagana’s errant call, Benitez nearly whipped in his free kick attempt but was denied by the crossbar.

Rios Novo made another save in the 70th minute, but the ball rebounded straight to the unmarked substitute, Tucker Stephenson, who punished Atlanta’s defensive mistakes to make it 1-1.

OKC continued to put pressure on the 2s, which culminated in Connor Donavan connecting with Robert Coronado’s free kick in the 78th minute to put OKC up 2-1 over Atlanta United 2.

Riso Novo came up big in the 82nd minute with a strong, left-handed save off another set piece move from OKC to keep Atlanta in the match, but the 2s couldn’t claw a point away from its Central Division opponents.

The 2s will travel to Alabama to face off against Central Division leaders Birmingham Legion on Wednesday. The 2’s have already played the Legion once this season, falling 1-0 at Fifth-Third Bank Stadium.