Atlanta United 2 fell 1-0 on the road at Birmingham Legion FC on Saturday night at BBVA Field. David Mejia, Patrick Nielsen and Daniel Steedman made their first starts for the club tonight.
Coleman Gannon had the first chance of the match after a Mejia cross in the eighth minute, but his header from seven yards out went down the middle into Matt Van Oekel’s arms. In the 11th minute, Ben Lundgaard made a brilliant save denying Birmingham’s Neco Brett from point-blank range. Atlanta continued to look dangerous throughout the first half especially off set pieces as Phillip Goodrum was just inches away on a couple of corner kicks.
It was Birmingham who would strike first though. Prosper Kasim found some space in the center of the pitch and fired a low shot from distance into the bottom right corner on the stroke of halftime to give Legion FC the 1-0 advantage at the break.
Atlanta pushed for an equalizer early in the second half. Goodrum played a beautiful cross to Gannon in the 64th minute, but the midfielder’s far-post header was cleared out at the last moment. In the 79th minute, substitute Baboucarr Njie was left open in the box and took a left-footed shot from 12 yards out that Van Oekel saved. Despite outshooting Birmingham 14-9, Atlanta couldn’t find an equalizer late.
ATL UTD 2 (1-4-2, 5 points) returns to action Wednesday, Aug. 12 when it hosts Group H leaders Tampa Bay Rowdies at Fifth Third Bank Stadium (7:30 p.m., ESPN+).
Atlanta 0, Birmingham 1
Shots: 14-9 Atlanta
Shots on Target: 5-4 Birmingham
Corner kicks: 8-3 Atlanta
Fouls committed: 14-13 Atlanta
Offside: 4-2 Atlanta
Possession: 53-47 Birmingham
Passing Accuracy: 84-82 Atlanta
BHM – Kasim 45+1’ (Crognale)
BHM – Alex Crognale (yellow) 27’
ATL – Modou Jadama (yellow) 36’
ATL UTD 2 STARTING LINEUP
Ben Lundgaard; Caleb Wiley, Modou Jadama ©, Patrick Nielsen, Jack Gurr; William Reilly, Abdoulaye Diop, David Mejia (Baboucarr Njie 64’); Coleman Gannon (Lamin Jawneh 83’), Daniel Steedman (Amir Bashti 46’), Phillip Goodrum (Amadou Macky Diop 74’).
Substitutes not used: Vicente Reyes, Ajani Fortune, Jackson Conway.
BIRMINGHAM LEGION FC STARTING LINEUP
Matt Van Oekel ©; Alex Crognale, Bolu Akindyode, Jonathan Dean, Miley Lopez; Eli Crognale (Daigo Kobayashi 46’), Anderson Asiedu, Prosper Kasim (Marcos Ugarte 59’), Bruno Lapa (Jake Rufe 87’); Neco Brett (Braxton Najib 87’), Jaden Servania (Brian Wright 54’).
Substitutes not used: Ford Parker, Rudolf Mensah.
Muhammad Hassan (referee), Brooke Mayo (assistant), Austin Holt (assistant), Kendall McCardell (fourth)
- David Mejia, Patrick Nielsen and Daniel Steedman made their first professional starts
- Jack Gurr led the team with four chances created
- Ben Lundgaard made four saves tonight, his second-most in a single match this year