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North Carolina FC 4-0 ATL UTD 2: Lagos Kunga shines, but 2s fall on road

The homegrown enjoyed a strong game, but his team couldn’t grab a win in Cary.

Photo courtesy Tony Walsh

ATL UTD 2 came out on the wrong end of the scoreline as they traveled to North Carolina FC on Friday. An early goal set the tone, though, as the hosts came away with a 4-0 win.

The opening goal came late in the seventh minute as a NCFC attacker beat out Will Crain for a ball played forward. It turned into a chance that pulled Alec Kann away from his net, but despite an open opportunity for Daniel Rios, it found its way to Donovan Ewolo - with the Cameroonian shaking off a couple of defenders and slotting it home to make it 1-0. In the 21st minute, following an Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu turnover, a ball chipped into the box was crossed by Steven Miller and deflected into the net by Crain to make it 2-0.

ATL UTD 2 had its best first-half opportunity in stoppage time as Lagos Kunga somehow sneaked a great ball past a group of defenders from the top of the box to Brandon Vazquez, but Vazquez couldn’t finish as his foot went over the ball with no one but former Atlanta man Alex Tambakis to beat.

Just six minutes into the second half, NCFC added another. Kyle Bekker’s attempt from distance rang off the woodwork, but Rios was there to settle it off the deflection and knock it in to make it 3-0. Marios Lomis added a fourth goal in the 90th minute to set the final margin.

Despite the loss, ATL UTD 2 can be encouraged by a nice game by Kunga, who was active all throughout the 60 minutes he played and combined well with Vazquez in the attack. While the HGP would have done well to help his team to a goal or two, he was arguably the best player on the field for the visitors.

ATL UTD 2 remain on the road for their next match against the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Kickoff at Al Lang Stadium is set for 7:30pm next Saturday.

ATL UTD 2 Starting XI: Alec Kann, Jose Hernandez, Will Crain, Andrew Kendall-Moullin, Jack Metcalf (C), Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu, Jose Carranza, Laurent Kissiedou, Jon Gallagher, Lagos Kunga, Brandon Vazquez

Bench: Paul Christensen, Andrew Carleton, Chris Goslin, Ollie Shannon, Devon Sandoval, Yosef Samuel, A.J. Cochran

Substitutions: Carleton 46’ (Kissiedou); Samuel 61’ (Kunga); Goslin 82’ (Hernandez)