Atlanta United nearly escaped Toronto with three points, but had to split them after a Brandon Servania equalizer at the death to tie the game 2-2.
The draw puts Atlanta’s point total to 15 with a 4-1-3 record.
The big question going into the match was whether Thiago Almada would be fit enough to play after taking a knock in the last match at NYCFC. Keeping with the team’s trend of not forcing players back after an injury, the Argentine star was kept out of the game. In his place was Matheus Rossetto who played in the three-man midfield alongside Amar Sejdic and Santiago Sosa, the latter filling in for a suspended Franco Ibarra.
The final change to the lineup was the inclusion of Quintin Westberg between the posts to replace Brad Guzan who suffered a torn MCL last week. This marks Westberg’s debut with the Five Stripes against none other than his former club.
Tonight's #ATLUTD Starting XI vs. Toronto FC pic.twitter.com/nlEaY2DTdU— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) April 15, 2023
It didn’t take long for the Five Stripes to make the opening statement. Just four minutes into the match, Giorgios Giakoumakis scored a header from a Brooks Lennon corner to give Atlanta an early 1-0 lead.
Four starts and 4️⃣ goals for our Tank pic.twitter.com/D0x0ttqaG5— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) April 15, 2023
Despite the concession, Toronto kept knocking on the door throughout the first half, outshooting Atlanta seven to four. One of those shots equalized the game after Atlanta’s disorganized defense allowed Richie Laryea to wander into the box and put the ball past Westberg. After 43 minutes of play, the score was level again at 1-1.
The second half brought another big challenge for Atlanta as goal-scorer Giakoumakis had to be subbed off due to what appeared to be a non-contact muscular injury. It’s unclear how long the Greek striker will be sidelined, but he at least appeared to be walking afterwards.
Atlanta would once again get in front in the 76th minute courtesy of a Machop Chol header off a Luiz Araújo cross into the box. Despite being down two very important attackers, the Five Stripes found themselves with a 2-1 lead away from home.
First career @MLS goal for Machop Chol!! ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/OpLj1F3mhu— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) April 16, 2023
The Five Stripes were seconds from their second road win of the season, but Brandon Servania stole a point for Toronto in the final minute of stoppage time with the 2-2 goal.
Atlanta United now prepare to face Chicago Fire FC on Sunday 4/23 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
What did you think of the match? Let us know in the comments below!