Atlanta United 2’s second season began the same way the first one did.
Behind goals in either half from Jon Gallagher and Brandon Vazquez, Atlanta opened its 2019 campaign with a 2-0 shutout win over newcomers Hartford Athletic at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw.
“Really, really happy,” said first-year coach Stephen Glass. “The lads worked really, really hard - great quality on the ball and work rate off it. They looked like they wanted to fight and win the game.”
ATL UTD 2 held the edge in play for the early portion of the match but couldn’t capitalize to get itself on the scoreboard. It finally did in the 30th, as Brandon Vazquez’s initial shot was deflected in the box to Jon Gallagher - who found himself all alone in front for the one-on-one finish.
Kicking off 2019 one step ahead @JonGallagher96 gives #ATLUTD2 the lead! pic.twitter.com/Z5gevxcLxG— ATL UTD 2 (@atlutd2) March 10, 2019
“It kind of skipped up and I thought, ‘Maybe I have a chance to beat the (keeper),” Gallagher said. “I took it inside, saw Brandon and he went for the shot. Luckily it fell to me and I was 100% sure I’d score.”
If not for a couple of near misses throughout the latter portions of the first half, it would have been level after the opening 45 minutes as Hartford gained momentum after falling behind. Meanwhile, ATL UTD 2 had a great chance to go up by 2 on a beautiful counter with about 30 minutes left, but Brandon Vazquez wasn’t able to put home a tap-in goal to finish it off. He didn’t miss on his chance in the 80th minute, though.
So smooth @AndersonAsiedu8 ➡️@Brvndonv pic.twitter.com/QLcfN18zJR— ATL UTD 2 (@atlutd2) March 10, 2019
“What I was happy with was that we showed a bit of balls,” Tyler Ruthven of the team’s second-half performance. I think when we got moving and we were confident on the ball, we broke them down and created chances. We didn’t want guys to get frustrated and forcing things. The way we were playing, the chances were going to come.”
ATL UTD return home on Friday night to face defending USL Championship holders Louisville City FC. Kickoff from Fifth Third Bank Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.
Substitutes: Vint 55’ (Gallagher), Benitez 67’ (Bello), Luiz Fernando 71’ (Pogba)