ATL UTD vs Toronto

Atlanta United falls to Toronto in late penalty

Atlanta United lost to Toronto FC 3-2 Wednesday night at BMO Field in front of 24,598 fans. Julian Gressel and Pity Martinez each tallied for Atlanta, but Alejandro Pozuelo’s penalty in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time gave Toronto the lead. Atlanta had a chance to equalize from the spot a minute later, but Martinez’s attempt missed.

Atlanta United Head Coach Frank de Boer listed a line-up with out key members Ezequiel Barco missing due to injury and Josef Martinez who is off competing in the 2019 Copa America tournament with Venezuela. The full XI: Brad Guzan (GK), Michael Parkhurst (LB), Leandro González Pirez (CB), Miles Robinson (CB), Brek Shea (RB), Eric Remedi (CM), Darlington Nagbe (CM), Dion Pereira (LW), Julian Gressel (CAM), Pity Martínez (RW), Brandon Vazquez (ST).

Toronto opened the scoring just 28 seconds into the match from Tsubasa Endoh. Off a giveaway, Endoh played Jacob Shaffelburg through but his ensuing pass deflected off Michael Parkhurst and straight at Marco Delgado, who then immediately combined with Shaffelburg toward the end line. Shaffelburg then attempted a cross, but it was once again deflected by Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, only to land dangerously near the six-yard box where Endoh beat everyone to the ball and poked it past an on-rushing Brad Guzan.

Atlanta equalized in the 17th minute from the penalty spot after video review reversed a non-call a few minutes prior. Pozuelo was ruled to have committed a handling infraction after Toronto had cleared a corner kick. Martinez stepped up to the spot and calmly scored into the left corner.

Just five minutes later, Atlanta took a 2-1 lead as Julian Gressel slammed home an unassisted goal. Brandon Vazquez did most of the work as he streaked down the right flank and beat his defender 1v1 before sending in a cross for the near post. It was deflected by a Toronto defender, but it landed near Gressel, who sent a powerful shot past Quentin Westberg.

Toronto finished off a high-scoring half with an equalizer in the 27th minute. Pozuelo atoned for his earlier mistake by deftly heading in a cross from Shaffelburg. Liam Fraser switched the field with a diagonal for Shaffelburg, who had enough time along the left flank to send a pin-point cross in for Pozuelo.

The second half featured a fairly non-descript 45 minutes of regular time; however, each team received a penalty kick during stoppage time. First it was Toronto as Florentin Pogba was deemed to have taken down Richie Laryea. Pozuelo stepped up and went to the left corner, and just beat a diving Brad Guzan, who guessed right, but was unable to make the save.

Atlanta then received a penalty after video review minutes later as Nick DeLeon was called for a handling infraction. Martinez again stepped up, but his attempt to equalized sailed over the crossbar. 

Atlanta United (8-6-2, 26 points) returns to action Saturday, June 29 when it hosts Montreal Impact at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (6:00 p.m. EST, FOX Sports Southeast, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game).