Atlanta United concludes its participation in the inaugural edition of Leagues Cup after a 1-1 draw followed by a penalty shootout defeat against Cruz Azul secured the Five Stripes’ elimination.
After a catastrophic loss to Inter
Messi Miami, Gonzalo Pineda made several changes to the starting XI. The first is a return to the back four with Ronald Hernandez and Caleb Wiley as fullbacks and a Miles Robinson-Luis Abram center back pairing. The next is a three-man midfield with Tristan Muyumba making his debut alongside Matheus Rossetto and Amar Sejdic. Thiago Almada seems to be playing as a left winger and Brooks Lennon moves up to right wing.
Despite creating a bulk of the chances, Atlanta United fell behind after 20 minutes after a lost aerial duel inside the box sent the ball toward Moises who finished an easy 1v1 against Brad Guzan to open the scoring. With one defensive mishap, the Five Stripes were suddenly facing elimination from Leagues Cup with a 1-0 deficit.
The team totaled five shots in the first half, but none were on target. The visitors were much more clinical, putting two of their three shots on target.
The Five Stripes found their equalizer in the 75th minute courtesy of Thiago Almada who curled a low shot around the Cementera’s keeper and into the back of the net. With 15 minutes left of the 90, Atlanta was level 1-1.
THIAGO ALMADA’S GOT SOMETHING TO SAY— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) July 30, 2023
The Five Stripes registered a further nine shots but couldn’t find a winner. With that, the game immediately went to a penalty shootout.
It was Juanjo Purata’s miss in sudden death that doomed the Five Stripes as Agusto Lotti scored the winner right after to punch Cruz Azul’s ticket to the knockout rounds.
Although a disappointing result, there are some positives to take from the game including Muyumba’s promising debut and an obvious intensity from the players to put on a good performance for the fans.
Atlanta United returns to action on Sunday, August 20th when it resumes MLS regular season play with a visit to Seattle Sounders.
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