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Atlanta United fall 4-3 to Toluca in AMFAM Cup showdown

The Five Stripes’ undefeated hold of this glorious title comes to an end.

Jay Bendlin/Atlanta United

Alas, all good things must come to an end. For Atlanta United, that means an end to their unbeaten streak at home against Liga MX teams and an end to their custody of the American Family Insurance Cup after falling to Deportivo Toluca by a score of 4-3. Oh coveted AMFAM Cup, we hardly knew ye.

The game was played in two halves of 45 minutes with Atlanta United running a lineup consisting mostly of presumed starters in the first half and one with several second-team players in the second half. Both Miles Robinson and Brad Guzan were held out of the match beforehand by Gonzalo Pineda since they’ll be playing 90 minutes against St. Louis City SC on Saturday. Other notable players who were unavailable include new signings Giorgos Giakoumakis and Luis Abram, who are both awaiting visas, as well as Santiago Sosa and Amar Sejdic who are recovering from injuries.

The excitement started early with a goal from Brooks Lennon after finding the ball in the middle of the box and just managing to put it out of reach of Toluca’s Luis Garcia. It took just 15 minutes for the Five Stripes to take a 1-0 lead.

The action didn’t stop there, though. Just two minutes later, Luiz Araujo took off down the right wing and, after dribbling past a couple of defenders, fired a shot to Garcia’s near post that doubled Atlanta United’s lead to 2-0.

But the Diablos Rojos didn’t stay quiet for long. Mere minutes after Atlanta extended their lead, Ivan Lopez cut into it after receiving the ball inside the box and creating a 1v1 with Quentin Westberg. Lopez beat the Five Stripes’ keeper handily and reduced Toluca’s deficit to 2-1 in the 19th minute.

Toluca started to gain rhythm as the game went on and inevitably managed to draw level in first-half stoppage time after Sebastian Saucedo curled a shot into the top corner where no keeper was going to reach it. The half ended with a 2-2 scoreline, but not before Machop Chol suffered what seemed to be a hamstring injury and had to be replaced by Jackson Conway.

The second lineup of the night took the field and showed the visitors that they meant business. Eight minutes into the second half, Atlanta United took the lead again after Ajani Fortune headed a ball on to Luke Brennan who slotted it past Tiago Volpi to establish a 3-2 advantage in the 53rd minute.

The visitors found an equalizer in the 62nd minute after Toluca’s Maxi Araujo took a shot from outside the box that took a significant deflection off Noah Cobb and left Clement Diop with no chance of saving it. The score stood tied at 3-3.

Los Diablos kept knocking on the door and received a reply in the 80th minute as Camilo Sanvezzo capitalized off a breakaway and beat Diop one-on-one to give the visitors the lead for the first time in the game. Atlanta United wasn’t able to come up with a response and the match ended with a final score of 4-3 in Toluca’s favor.

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