Atlanta United defeated FC Cincinnati 2-1 in its 2020 MLS home opener in front of 69,301 fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Goals from Ezequiel Barco and Emerson Hyndman lifted Atlanta to its second consecutive win to begin the MLS Regular Season and kept the club unbeaten across all competitions in 2020 with a 3-0-1 record.
Atlanta United took control of the match early as Barco and Pity Martinez combined for several threatening chances in the first half. After a strong build up through the middle in the 18th minute, Martinez sent a through ball to Barco in the middle of the box where he was nearly in on goal, but goalkeeper Spencer Richey rushed out to deny his shot. Two minutes later Brooks Lennon made a run down the right side before cutting a low cross back to the edge of the 18-yard-box for Barco, but his shot missed over the cross bar. Less than a minute later, Barco finally found the breakthrough. Lennon played a long ball down the right side for Martinez where the Argentine dribbled into the box and blew by Kendall Waston. Martinez sent a low cross across goal where Barco slid into the path of the ball and poked it into the net for a 1-0 lead.
Atlanta doubled its lead in the second half through Hyndman. Barco made a run across the field in the attacking half and laid the ball off for Jake Mulraney in the corner of the box, who found Martinez in space just outside of the penalty area. Martinez returned the ball to Barco on the left side while Mulraney made an overlapping run which left Hyndman open inside the box. Barco quickly found Hyndman where he cut the ball on his right foot and blasted a shot past Richey at the near post.
Cincinnati pulled a goal back in the 64th minute through Yuya Kubo. Adrien Regattin found Kubo on the edge of the box on the left side and made a run into the box, drawing a pair of defenders. Kubo took one touch into space and drilled a right footed shot into the right side of the goal to half the deficit.
AAtlanta (2-0-0, 6 points) returns to action Wednesday, March 11 against Club América in the Concacaf Champions League Quarterfinals at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City (10:30 p.m., FS2, TUDN, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game). The club returns to MLS regular season play Saturday, March 14 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium against Sporting Kansas City (7:00 p.m., FOX Sports Southeast, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game).
Atlanta United 2, FC Cincinnati 1
Shots: 14-8 FC Cincinnati
Shots on Target: 4-4
Corner kicks: 3-2 FC Cincinnati
Fouls committed: 15-10 FC Cincinnati
Clearances: 20-12 Atlanta
Offside: 4-1 Atlanta
Possession: 58-42 Atlanta
Passing Accuracy: 84-81 Atlanta
ATL – Ezequiel Barco (Pity Martinez) 21’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL – Emerson Hyndman (Ezequiel Barco, Pity Martinez) 55’ [HIGHLIGHT]
CIN – Yuya Kubo (Adrien Regattin) 64’ [HIGHLIGHT]
CIN – Kendall Waston (yellow) 4’
CIN – Greg Garza (yellow) 34’
CIN – Frankie Amaya (yellow) 53’
ATL – Matheus Rossetto (yellow) 75’
CIN – Allan Cruz (yellow) 89’
ATLANTA UNITED STARTING LINEUP
Brad Guzan ©; Anton Walkes, Fernando Meza, Brooks Lennon, Jake Mulraney (Jeff Larentowicz – 80’); Emerson Hyndman, Laurence Wyke (George Campbell – 44’), Eric Remedi, Gonzalo Martínez (Matheus Rossetto – 67’), Adam Jahn, Ezequiel Barco.
Substitutes not used: George Bello, Luiz Fernando, Mohammed Adams, Alec Kann.
FC CINCINNATI STARTING LINEUP
Spencer Richey; Kendall Waston ©, Greg Garza (Andrew Gutman – 80’), Mathieu Deplagne, Maikel van der Werff; Frankie Amaya (Brandon Vázquez – 80’), Allan Cruz, Haris Medunjanin, Yuya Kubo, Joseph-Claude Gyau (Adrien Regattin – 61’), Jürgen Locadia.
Substitutes not used: Przemyslaw Tyton, Tom Pettersson, Fatai Alashe, Caleb Stanko.
Robert Sibiga (referee), Eric Weisbrod (assistant), Gjovalin Bori (assistant), Elvis Osmanovic (fourth), Edvin Jurisevic (VAR)
- Today’s attendance of 69,301 was 10th most in MLS Regular Season history
- Atlanta United now owns each of the Top 10 most attended matches in MLS Regular Season history
- George Campbell made his MLS debut as a substitute
- Matheus Rossetto made his club debut
- Emerson Hyndman completed a game-high 92.9 percent (52-of-56) passing
- Ezequiel Barco completed a game-high 31 passes in the opponent’s half
- Eric Remedi led the team with 10 recoveries
- Fernando Meza had a game-high eight clearances
- Jeff Larentowicz made his 420th career appearance, second most all-time in MLS history among field players