KENNESAW, Ga. – Despite a hard fought battle and 30 minutes of extra time, Memphis 901 FC defeated Atlanta United 2-1 in the third round of this year's Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. It's the earliest exit for Atlanta United in the tournament's history.
Four Atlanta United players made their way into the starting lineup for the first time this season, including forward Tyler Wolff, who scored Atlanta's lone goal in the early minutes of the game. Midfielder Amar Sejdić switched the field with a long pass to the right side, ending at the feet of Luiz Araújo. Araújo played the ball over Memphis' back line to Wolff, who made a run toward far post. Wolff took a touch to collect the ball before slotting it in the bottom right corner.
The goal was Wolff's first for Atlanta and the fastest club goal of the season at two minutes and 37 seconds.
"Individually, happy to get the goal," Wolff said, "but tonight, it was about getting three points and moving on in the tournament, so going forward, we can't get too high, can't get too low."
Atlanta held onto the lead for for the majority of the game until the 96th minute when defender Juanjo Purata made a sliding tackle in the box, bringing down Memphis' Phillip Goodrum. The foul was ruled a penalty, and Goodrum converted from the spot.
Memphis extended their lead in the 10th minute of the first period of extra time. Midfielder Luiz Fernando sent in a cross from the right side and forward Nighte Pickering finished from the top of the 6-yard box.
"We weren't ready for the battle," head coach Gonzalo Pineda said. "I felt that today Memphis was more ready for the battle. They were trying to win duels and do everything they can to put pressure on us."
Clément Diop made his first start of the season in goal; his debut for Atlanta came in the second half of Sunday's 2-1 win over Chicago FC. He kept the 5-Stripes in the game with eight saves, including a double save in the 32nd minute off two shots from Memphis' Bruno Lapa.
Atlanta United was crowned as the Open Cup champions in 2019. The tournament took a two-year hiatus and returned in 2022, where Atlanta advanced to the Round of 32 before falling 3-2 to Nashville SC.
Up next - Atlanta United resumes MLS play
Atlanta United's double matchweek continues Saturday with an MLS matchup against Nashville SC at GEODIS Park. It's an earlier match time with kickoff scheduled for 1:30 p.m.