Atlanta United played to an intense 2-2 road draw against FC Dallas on Saturday in its last MLS game before the September international break.
The road point brings the Five Stripes’ tally to 42 in 28 games with an 11-9-8 record.
Ahead of playing its third match in eight days, Atlanta United’s lineup included some rotation in midfield and on the wings. Saba Lobjanidze got his first MLS start on the right wing while Tyler Wolff played on the left. Santiago Sosa and Amar Sejdic were the pairing in midfield to give Tristan Muyumba a bit of rest.
The hosts opened the scoring just four minutes in after Robinson failed to escort a ball completely out of bounds. Jesus Ferreira recovered it and cut it back to Paul Arriola who had an easy finish against an open net. A silly defensive mistake put Atlanta behind 1-0 in Dallas.
Atlanta’s midfield struggles without Muyumba were there for all to see as Dallas created most of the chances in the first half. The Texan side led the xg battle in the first 45 minutes 1.3 to 0.3. The Five Stripes looked as they did earlier in the season finding significant trouble playing out of Dallas’ mid-block and advancing to create chances.
The Almada-Giakoumakis connection yielded an equalizer for Atlanta as the Argentine played a beautiful lobbed ball into the box for the Greek who leaps into the air to send it home for 1-1. The goal is Giakoumakis’ 13th of the season and draws him level with Hany Mukhtar and Lucho Acosta at the top of the MLS Golden Boot race.
The Five Stripes picked up attacking momentum in the second half when Tristan Muyumba entered the game. The difference was night and day. The French midfielder instantly showed why he is so important to Atlanta’s midfield with his ability to cover space and open options for his team moving upfield.
At the 58th minute, Lobjanidze launched Atlanta in front with a beautiful left-footed strike that curled past Jimmy Maurer to score his second in three games. The Georgian’s banger gave Atlanta a 2-1 lead on the road.
But the lead wouldn’t last. Just four minutes later, Bernard Kamungo found himself in on goal after a well-placed through ball and chipped Brad Guzan to level the game again. With Brooks Lennon just barely playing him onside.
The Five Stripes nearly fell behind again after Alan Velasco found Marco Farfan at the back post who headed it in to the joy of the crowd at Toyota Stadium. VAR was Atlanta’s friend on this occasion, however, as the goal was disallowed due to an offside in the build-up.
With that the last significant action of the match, Atlanta United brings home a point from the encounter. It was a close game with both teams finding several opportunities to score and potentially get full points, but neither side was able to find the winner.
Atlanta United’s next match will be on Saturday, Sept. 16 when it hosts Inter Miami at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Kickoff is set for 5 pm.
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