Atlanta United 2 drew Birmingham Legion 3-3 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium on Wednesday night. Nick Firmino got on the end of a Robbie Mertz free kick to steal a point in stoppage time as Atlanta came back from a two-goal deficit in the second half.
Birmingham opened the scoring in the ninth minute through Enzo Martinez. Brazilian forward Marlon Santos used fancy footwork to break free on the right flank before sending in a cross that skipped through the penalty area. The pass reached Martinez at the back post and the Uruguayan poked in the opener past Justin Garces.
Legion FC were awarded a penalty in the 47th minute after a handball from Efrain Morales. Bruno Lapa stepped up to take the penalty kick, which was saved by Garces back into the path of the midfielder. The Brazilian followed up his shot and finished the rebound in the 49th minute.
Atlanta got back into it in the 65th minute with Luke Brennan’s first professional goal. Erik Centeno used stepovers and speed to get to the byline before crossing in for Brennan. The 17-year-old leapt and headed a strike past Spangenberg to make it a 2-1 score line.
Tristan Trager netted his sixth goal in four matches to equalize for the hosts. Mertz found the run of the reigning USL Championship Player of the Week with a ball over the top of the Birmingham defense. Trager killed the ball with his first touch and rounded the goalkeeper before firing into the open net.
The visitors were able to reestablish their advantage in the 74th minute. Zach Herivaux ran through the Atlanta midfield and found Juan Agudelo, who returned the favor with a lay-off pass. Herivaux fired a blistering shot into the top corner of Garces’ net, giving Birmingham the lead.
In stoppage time, Jonantan Villal earned Atlanta a free kick on the right wing to give his side a chance to level the score. Mertz placed his set piece perfectly at the back post, finding the head of a springing Firmino to rescue a point for Atlanta.
ATL UTD 2 (4-12-3, 15 points) travels to ONEOK Field in Tulsa, Oklahoma to take on FC Tulsa on Saturday, July 9 (8:30 p.m., ESPN+).
Atlanta 3, Birmingham 3
Fifth Third Bank Stadium
Shots: 18-12 Birmingham
Shots on Target: 7-6 Atlanta
Corner kicks: 6-4 Birmingham
Fouls committed: 16-11 Atlanta
Offsides: 3-0 Atlanta
Possession: 53.1-46.9 Atlanta
Passing Accuracy: 83.4-75.9 Atlanta
SCORING SUMMARYBHM – Enzo Martinez 9’ (Marlon Santos)
BHM – Bruno Lapa 49’ (unassisted)
ATL – Luke Brennan 65’ (Erik Centeno)
ATL – Tristan Trager 67’ (Robbie Mertz)
BHM – Zach Herivaux 74’ (unassisted)
ATL – Nick Firmino 90+2’ (Robbie Mertz)
ATL – Raimar 31’ (yellow)
ATL – Darwin Matheus 42’ (yellow)
BHM – Marlon Santos 45’ (yellow)
ATL – Efrain Morales 48’ (yellow)
BHM – Matthew Corcoran 88’ (yellow)
ATL UTD 2 STARTING LINEUP
Justin Garces; Noah Cobb, Efrain Morales, Toni Tiente (Bryce Washington – 84’); David Mejía (Luke Brennan – 61’), Robbie Mertz ©, Ajani Fortune, Darwin Matheus (Jonantan Villal – 78’), Raimar (Erik Centeno – HT); Jackson Conway, Tristan Trager (Nick Firmino – 84’).
Substitutes not used: Vicente Reyes, Brendan Lambe.
BIRMINGHAM LEGION STARTING LINEUP
Trevor Spangenberg; Phanuel Kavita ©, Ryan James (Grayson Dupont – 90+3’), Alex Crognale, Jonny Dean; Anderson Asiedu, Bruno Lapa (Prosper Kasim – 84’), Zach Herivaux; Edi Horvat (Juan Agudelo – 61’), Marlon Santos (Matthew Corcoran – HT), Enzo Martinez.Substitutes not used: Matt Van Oekel.
DeShun Beard (referee), Ben Rigel (assistant), Sarah Gaddes (assistant), Amin Hadzic (fourth official)
- Luke Brennan scored his first professional goal
- Tristan Trager scored in his fourth-consecutive match
- Robbie Mertz recorded his second-straight multi-assist match
- Nick Firmino scored his third goal of the season in stoppage time to secure a point for ATL UTD 2