Atlanta United 2 defeated Swope Park Rangers 2-1 Friday night at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. Jackson Conway scored his fifth goal of the season while an own-goal proved to be the game-winner as ATL UTD 2 extended its home unbeaten streak to three matches. Goalkeeper Brendan Moore saved a penalty to preserve the win and Luiz Fernando recorded his second assist of the season.
ATL UTD 2 controlled the match early and nearly took the lead in the fifth minute. George Bello made a run down the left side and cut toward the middle of the field before laying the ball off for Andrew Carleton. The Homegrown midfielder took a touch to his right before sending a curling shot from 20 yards out to the right corner, but goalkeeper John Pulskamp made a diving effort to push it out for a corner. In the 19th minute academy product Will Reilly delivered a pin-point cross from the left side for Conway, but the forward’s header drifted just past the left post.
Atlanta continued to push for the opening goal and took the lead in the 58th minute. After making a save, Moore rolled the ball to Bello who dribbled to the midfield stripe and found Fernando on the left wing. The Brazilian took a couple touches before sending an early cross into the box where Conway split a pair of defenders and smashed home a volley with his right boot. It marked Conway’s third consecutive match with a goal.
Atlanta extended its lead in the 74th minute when it was able to force an own-goal. After coming on as a substitute for his second appearance of the year, Kevin Kratz delivered a free kick to the left side of the box looking for Bello, but Swope Park’s Jacob Davis headed the ball over Pulskamp’s head and into the net.
Swope Park was awarded a penalty in the 81st minute when academy defender Garrison Tubbs was ruled to have fouled Davis in the 18-yard box. Alexsander Andrade struck it low to the right, but Moore guessed correctly and made a diving save to keep the lead at two. Moore finished the night with six saves, matching his season-high.
The Rangers eventually pulled one goal back in the 87th minute. Davis played Wilson Harris through the middle where he finished a low shot to the bottom right corner.
ATL UTD 2 (5-13-5, 20 points) returns to action Saturday, Aug. 24 against Hartford Athletic at 7:00 p.m. EST at Dillon Stadium. The match will be streamed live on ESPN+.