In a match which saw five goals scored in the first half, Atlanta United 2 was ultimately defeated 4-2 by FC Cincinnati Saturday night in front of 22,532 fans at Nippert Stadium.
“I think we were a bit more fluid tonight and most importantly played fast and got into good spots,” said ATL UTD 2 head coach Scott Donnelly. “The next step is putting those stretches together more consistently, and hitting the brakes at times to improve our retention a little bit. Cincinnati took advantage of a few giveaways, and they have quality, so our decisions with the ball are something we’ll keep focusing on.”
After a mostly conservative opening 25 minutes, ATL UTD 2 suddenly found itself trailing 2-0 when FC Cincinnati scored back-to-back in the 26th and 28th minutes with goals from Danni Konig and Emmanuel Ledesma. Atlanta responded in the 31st minute off a set piece taken by Jack Metcalf. AJ Cochran headed the looping pass towards the penalty spot where Jon Gallagher buried the loose ball to half the deficit and tally his fourth goal of the season.
Cincinnati again made it a two-goal advantage when Corben Bone scored in the 39th minute, but Atlanta answered two minutes later. A headed clearance from the FCC defense was met by Laurent Kissiedou’s right foot as the 19-year-old Ivorian midfielder smashed a volley from outside of the box into the upper-right corner for his first professional goal and trimmed Cincinnati’s lead to one. The home side, however, took a 4-2 advantage it would not relinquish when Ledesma scored his second goal of the night in the 46th minute.
ATL UTD 2 (1-3-3, 6 points) returns to action Saturday, May 12 against Ottawa Fury FC at 2:00 p.m. EST at TD Place Stadium. The match will be streamed live on ESPN+.