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Charlotte Independence 2-2 ATL UTD 2 recap: Atlanta settle for a road point

Tonight ended in a draw, but the homegrown players shone for ATL UTD 2.

Drew Dinwiddie

ATL UTD 2 allowed a late equalizer to the Charlotte Independence and were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw at the Sportsplex at Matthews on Saturday night.

This evening featured Atlanta United’s homegrowns in a big way. In the 28th minute, George Bello took a nifty pass from Jose Carranza and ended a nice run with what appeared to be his first professional goal to make it 1-0. It was later changed to an own goal for Charlotte, but it was still great work by Bello.

But Charlotte put itself back on terms in the 37th off a goal from veteran Jorge Herrera, thanks to a poor touch from an Atlanta defender in the box.

There weren’t very many clear-cut chances in the second half, though, but it wasn’t for lack of trying by either team as both looked to break each other’s high press with long balls up field. That changed in the 82nd minute as a brilliant individual run from the right side of the box saw Lagos Kunga score from an acute angle to put his team ahead.

Again, though, Charlotte leveled it courtesy of Herrera. Chris Goslin gave too much space to Joel Johnson on the right side, and the resulting cross found Herrera - whose shot was bobbled by Paul Christensen and crossed the line to tie it at 2.

Atlanta had a glorious chance to regain the lead in stoppage time off a corner kick, but A.J. Cochran’s header rang off the post and Kunga’s chance on the rebound went well wide. Devon Sandoval and Bello each had great opportunities to find Atlanta’s third goal in the latter stages of added time, but both attempts at a winner sailed over the net.

Despite the loss, ATL UTD 2 can be happy with the play of Bello and Kunga tonight. Goslin, for his part, was good, but didn’t really deal with Johnson before the second half equalizer. Things like that can easily be cleaned up, though.

ATL UTD 2 heads back home to face Penn FC next Sunday at 4pm at Coolray Field.

Lineup (4-3-3): Paul Christensen, George Bello, A.J. Cochran, Miles Robinson, Jack Metcalf (C), Andrew Kendall-Moullin, Ollie Shannon, Chris Goslin, Jose Carranza, Yosef Samuel, Lagos Kunga

Bench: Nicolas Caraux, Shawn Nicklaw, Kevin Barajas, Will Crain, Devon Sandoval

Substitutions: Sandoval (Carranza) 71’