MLS SOCCER

Atlanta United Advances to the Quarterfinals in US Open Cup

Atlanta Untied soccer team pose for pregame photo

Two goals from Brandon Vazquez and one from Miles Robinson propelled Atlanta United to a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Crew in U.S. Open Cup action Tuesday night. With the win, the Five Stripes have now advanced to the quarterfinals of the tournament and will host the winner of the Cincinnati vs. Louisville FC match on July 10.

“We are only going for one thing, and that’s to win the (U.S. Open) Cup. It’s nice to go through to the

next round because you can only win the Cup if you advance to the next round. We want to win the

MLS Cup and the U.S. Open Cup. That’s our objective, and next time we will play at home, and that is an advantage,” Atlanta United manager Frank De Boer said according to a press release from the club. “Hopefully the supporters will be back supporting us. In an empty stadium, it was tough; hopefully, in a month, we have a lot of supporters that will support us and help us achieve another

record, moving on to the next round. Hopefully, we can achieve that.”

After waiting 48 minutes to play the last 15 minutes of the match because of a weather delay, Atlanta United advanced to the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals for the first time in the franchise’s history. The team lost to Miami FC and the Chicago Fire in the round of 16 in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Atlanta got off to a dream start as a turnover by the Crew’s David Guzman at the fifth minute of the match led to Vazquez finding the back of the net as he dribbled towards the goal by himself and placed his shot to the bottom right of the goal.

Nine minutes later, Robinson doubled Atlanta’s lead as he was able to score via a header off a corner kick taken by Ezequiel Barco, who played his first match for the Five Stripes after coming back from the Under-20 World Cup with Argentina.

Just before the end of the first half, David Accam brought the home team back to life as he shortened the lead, but at the 65th minute, Vazquez scored his second goal of the night as he was able to get past his defender and shot the ball into the bottom right of the goal.

At the 71st minute, Waylon Francis scored for the Crew after Brad Guzan was able to get a hand on the cross, but the ball went underneath him and into the goal.

When play resumed after the weather delay, both teams had several scoring opportunities, but it was the Crew who had the most threatening one at the 87th minute, as Leandro Gonzalez Pirez was able to clear the ball with an amazing bicycle kick.

Atlanta will resume MLS play June 26 when the team travels to Canada and takes on Toronto at 8 p.m.

Man of the Match:

Brandon Vazquez is the clear man of the match after a two-goal performance and helping the Five Stripes advance to the quarterfinals. With Josef Martinez on international duty and Tito Villalba out injured, Vazquez has made the most of his recent playing time having scored four times in the last two matches.

“I think you can see tonight, he was challenging, he was winning duels. He was sometimes a focal point where guys can play to him, and he will play to guys under him,” De Boer said on Vazquez performance. “He also was clever tonight, like on that shot when he hit the post, he sees the defender is trying to pass back, and he gets in between that pass. I think he had a very good performance.”

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