Atlanta United 2 fell 3-2 against Columbus Crew 2 Sunday at Historic Crew Stadium in the final match of the season. Noah Cobb and David Mejía each scored their third goal of the season as Atlanta finishes the year with a 9-13-6 record in its first season in MLS NEXT Pro.
Columbus opened the scoring in the second minute of the match after Gibran Rayo sent a through ball past two defenders down the center of the pitch for Marco Micaletto. Kofi Twumasi deflected the pass but Micaletto continued his run into the 18-yard-box and rolled the first goal of the day into the bottom right corner for the early lead.
Atlanta nearly scored the equalizer in the 18th minute when Toni Tiente quickly restarted play from the center of the pitch. Tiente perfectly timed his pass over the back line for Erik Centeno who dribbled into the box and blasted a shot attempt to the left post but Nathan Salerno was there for the diving save.
Columbus added to its lead moments after Centeno's chance. In the 19th minute, Abdi Mohamed scored off a set piece corner after Rayo received the cross inside the 18-yard-box and dropped it off to Mohamed for a volley blasted into the opposite side net leaving no chance for Sebastian Guerra in goal.
In the 29th minute, Rayo earned a penalty when the midfielder was knocked down by Twumasi inside the penalty area. Rayo scored the spot kick, placing it to the bottom left corner for the 3-0 lead.
Cobb cut the lead in the 37th minute after Atlanta earned a foul a yard outside the right edge of the penalty area. Tiente chipped a ball to the back post where Cobb patiently launched a one bounce volley into the roof of the net for his third goal of the season and Tiente's fourth assist of the year.
Atlanta continued to fight in the second half with a high press that earned Atlanta several interceptions inside Columbus' half. In the 82nd minute, David Mejía tacked on his third goal of the season to make it a one goal game with less than 10 minutes to play. Nick Firmino began the play with the ball near the center line where the mid-season MVP sent a pass up to Mejía down the center of the pitch. Mejía took on two defenders before sending a shot that took a deflection and rolled into the back of the net. Despite the late push, Columbus held onto the lead and earned the three points at home to finish the season.
Shots: 16-9 Columbus
Shots on target: 5-3 Columbus
Corner kicks: 8-6 Columbus
Fouls Committed: 21-15 Columbus
xG: 2.19 - .74 Columbus
Possession: 54-56 Atlanta
Passing accuracy: 88-88
CLB - Marco Micaletto 2'
CLB - Abdi Mohamed (Rayo) 19'
CLB - Gibran Rayo 31'
ATL - Noah Cobb (Tiente) 37'
ATL - David Mejía (Firmino) 82'
ATL - Noah Cobb 🟨 9'
ATL - Toni Tiente 🟨 22'
ATL - Kofi Twumasi 🟨 29'
CLB - Clay Holstad 🟨 37'
CLB - Marco Micaletto 🟨 46'
ATL - Shawn Lanza 🟨 84'
CLB - Anges Bohui 🟨 88'
ATL - Sebastian Guerra 🟨 89'
- Noah Cobb scored his third goal of the season
- Toni Tiente recorded his fourth assist of the season
- David Mejía scored his third goal of the season
- Nick Firmino added his sixth assist of the season
- Matias Gallardo earned his first start of the season
- Rocket Ritarita earned first start of the season
- Jonathan Ransom was available for professional selection for the first time in his career