Atlanta United went into the matchup against Toronto FC on Saturday looking for their second straight MLS win, and second ever at BMO Field, but ultimately fell short 2-1.
First Half - Toronto FC Scores Early
Toronto FC came out aggressive in the first half and opened the scoring in the eighth minute. Atlanta United turned the ball over trying to play out of the back. Forward Jayden Nelson slid the ball to Jonathan Osorio near the end line. The midfielder cut the ball back to slot it past Atlanta United goalkeeper Rocco Ríos Novo.
Toronto FC nearly scored again in the 21st minute. Out of a Toronto set piece, Atlanta United forward Luiz Araújo stole the ball in Toronto’s attacking third. But the Reds got the ball right back and recycled the play, which resulted in a strike from Alejandro Pozuelo.
Atlanta United had a few promising chances. In the 23rd minute, Araújo and Marcelino Moreno connected on a fast-developing play, but the final pass to Ronaldo Cisneros went a little past his central run. A few minutes later, defender Caleb Wiley made an overlapping run and received the ball out wide, but none of Atlanta’s attackers could get on the end of his cross.
For Atlanta, defender Aiden McFadden got the late start in place of Brooks Lennon. In June, Atlanta United called up McFadden to replace Tyler Wolff, who is currently with the U-20 U.S. men’s national team. McFadden plays with Atlanta United 2. The match marked his first career MLS start.
Second Half - Luiz Araújo Finds The Equalizer, But Toronto FC Grabs The Lead Back
Atlanta United created more chances in the second half, including in the 51st minute. The attack strung together a few passes that led to a cross out of the left flank. Josef Martínez was in the box to receive the cross, but faced pressure from Toronto and left the ball for Cisneros. Cisneros’s shot was blocked and led to Atlanta corner kick.
Five minutes later, Atlanta United found the equalizer. Midfielder Franco Ibarra sent a through ball to a streaking Araújo. From there, the forward used his exceptional speed to outlast the Toronto defense. He timed his shot well and struck with the outside of his left foot to even the score 1-1 in the 57th minute. Ibarra was credited with the assist, his first-ever in MLS.
Toronto FC fought back and regained the lead in the 78th minute. Out of a corner kick, Toronto found Ralph Priso-Mbongue in the middle of the field at the top of the box. The second half sub squared his body and delivered a low driven shot into the net to put the home side ahead 2-1.
In the 82nd minute, forward Machop Chol came on as a sub, along with Dom Dwyer and Amar Sejdić. Chol made his first appearance with Atlanta United since last October.
Atlanta United nearly found another goal in second half stoppage time. Wiley sent a dangerous cross looking for Cisneros, but Toronto blocked Atlanta’s chance at equalizing. With less than two minutes to play, Atlanta United pressed to shift the result but eventually fell short.
Up Next For Atlanta United
Atlanta United has back-to-back matches on the road against New York clubs, first against the New York Red Bulls on June 30 followed by a matchup against the reigning MLS Cup champion New York City FC on July 3.
Then, Atlanta United returns home on July 9 to face Austin FC. It's a full-venue match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, so secure your seat today.