Atlanta United 2 defeated Penn FC 2-1 Saturday night at FNB Field. First half goals from Devon Sandoval and Andrew Carleton proved to be enough to hand ATL UTD 2 its second consecutive win on the road and extend the team’s unbeaten streak to three.
“I’m certainly pleased to see us get good results and proud of the effort and buy in. Additionally, it has been away from home, which shows a maturing group,” said ATL UTD 2 head coach Scott Donnelly. “One of the things I’m happiest with is how we’ve gotten these results – some very good soccer against Indy and Toronto, and now tonight on a heavy surface against a direct team we stood up and defended as a group when we had to. There’s no question the group has progressed and has been rewarded for it.”
Sandoval put Atlanta ahead with the team’s fastest goal of the season in the third minute after center back Miles Robinson played a long ball down the right side for right back Jon Gallagher. The Irishman allowed the ball to take a bounce in front of him before one-timing a cross to the top of the six-yard-box where Sandoval powerfully headed the ball over Penn FC goalkeeper Romuald Peiser.
Penn equalized in the 34th minute through captain Kenneth Tribbett. Richard Menjivar delivered a corner to the center of the box where Tribbett slotted a right-footed shot into the bottom left corner.
Atlanta wasted little time to regain the lead and scored off a counter attack. Following a Penn FC corner, Lagos Kunga gathered a pass and led the break down the middle of the field. He played Gallagher down the right side where the right back played an early pass to Carleton at the top of the 18-yard box. The Homegrown took one touch inside the penalty area and unleashed a right-footed shot between a pair of defenders which picked-out the bottom right corner.
It was Carleton’s second goal of the season and ultimately proved to be the game-winning goal. Gallagher picked up his second assist of the night and recorded his team-leading fifth of the season. It was the first multi-assist match of the season for any ATL UTD 2 player.
ATL UTD 2 (5-13-8, 23 points) returns to action Saturday, Sept. 15 against Tampa Bay Rowdies at 7:30 p.m. EST at Al Lang Stadium. The match will be streamed live on ESPN+.