Atlanta United 2 beat North Carolina FC 2-1 Saturday night at Fifth Third Bank Stadium as Jackson Conway and Gordon Wild each scored to earn ATL UTD 2 back-to-back wins. Seventeen-year-old Conway scored the game-winner in the second half for his first professional goal while Wild netted his first goal with ATL UTD 2.
ATL UTD 2 absorbed pressure from North Carolina’s attack in the opening 20 minutes with goalkeeper Brendan Moore making three of his six saves during that span. However, it was Atlanta that opened the scoring in the 25th minute through Wild.
Homegrown Andrew Carleton initially tried to play Wild down the left side with a long ball, but it was headed in the air by Alexander Comsia. Carleton followed the play, gathered the ball and chipped it over North Carolina’s backline as Wild continued his run down the left. The German forward one-timed a low shot to the bottom-right corner past an out-stretched Alex Tambakis to put Atlanta in front 1-0. Carleton recorded his first assist of the season.
North Carolina tied the match in the 36th minute. D.J. Taylor was played down the right side and sent a cross into the center of the box where Marios Lomis scored with a shot into the left side of the goal.
After a number of chances in the first half, Conway nearly found his goal in the 52nd minute when Carleton crossed a ball from the left side to the back post. Conway slid into the path of the ball which found the back of the net but was disallowed as referee Aleksandar Zhelyazkov ruled that the ball struck Conway’s hand.
Conway, however, earned his goal in the 67th minute. North Carolina attempted to play out of the back, but Luiz Fernando made a tackle on Graham Smith and the ball skipped to Laurent Kissiedou. The Ivorian one-timed a pass to Conway in the center of the 18 where the striker settled the ball with his left foot before blasting a right-footed shot into the bottom left corner. Kissiedou picked up his first assist of the season.
Following the goal, ATL UTD 2 allowed North Carolina to take just one shot in the final 23 minutes of the match.
ATL UTD 2 (3-2-1, 10 points) returns to action Wednesday, April 24 against Tampa Bay Rowdies at 7:30 p.m. EST at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. The match will be streamed live on ESPN+.