Aaaaaaand that’s a wrap.
Despite an encouraging game two win, Atlanta United was unable to complete the series comeback after falling 4-2 in game three against the Columbus Crew.
The Five Stripes’ season ends after a poor defensive display away from home in a game that was almost entirely dictated by the Black and Gold.
Only one change to the squad that earned an important 4-2 victory at home on Tuesday: Jay Fortune starts in midfield to replace Matheus Rossetto who was forced out of the last game with a calf injury. All three Designated Players line up to start the match, which should give the team a much more significant spark in attack compared to the last visit to Lower.com Field.
Atlanta looked very confident and in control during the opening minutes, but a shot from outside the box by former player Darlington Nagbe rolled into the net to shock the Five Stripes and open the scoring after nine minutes.
Malte Amundsen doubled the lead eight minutes later with a thundering strike that gave Brad Guzan no chance of saving it. Alarm bells were ringing for Atlanta who needed to act fast to keep the season alive.
Matters were only made worse when Alexandru Matan found some space inside the box and rifled in a third goal to make it 3-0 after 33 minutes. With still an hour to go in the game, the Five Stripes’ hopes of advancing were rapidly disappearing.
But a glimmer of hope came in the form of Atlanta’s Greek tank who pulled one back with his 19th goal for the club. The Five Stripes went to the locker room facing elimination with a 3-1 deficit.
Goal No. 19 for our Tank gets us back in it ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/cgbunCZqLM— x - Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) November 13, 2023
The second half started much like the first with Columbus scoring early in the 47th minute through Diego Rossi who received a perfect through ball from Matan. The Uruguayan forward finished with ease to reestablish a three-goal lead.
However, the Five Stripes wouldn’t lay down yet. Brooks Lennon played a low cross into the box to find Xande Silva who tapped it home to cut the Crew’s lead back down to two. With most of the second half to go, Atlanta United still had all to play for in this game.
But it wouldn’t be enough for Atlanta as time ran out on the match and the Five Stripes’ season.
While it’s a disappointing result, there are reasons to be encouraged about this team going into the new year. Another transfer window with plenty of roster changes pending have the potential to make this team a more serious contender next season.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
What did you think of the match? Let us know in the comments below.