Atlanta United lost its second consecutive match in the MLS is Back Tournament, this time, a 1-0 loss to FC Cincinnati.
A strike by Frankie Amaya outside of the 18-yard box at the 76th minute proved to be the difference between both teams in a match that only saw 20 shots combined between both teams and where United finished with only nine players on the field.
For United, the team moves to last place after two straight defeats in group play and will hope to earn a win against Columbus Crew in order to have any hopes of advancing to the Round of 16. Meanwhile for FC Cincinnati, the team earned its first win under new manager Jaap Stam and its first in the MLS is Back Tournament.
For Atlanta, the team started the match well, dominating possession and attempting to take advantage of Cincy’s lack of attack game plan. But at the 26th minute, the Five Stripes were down to 10 men after Jake Mulraney was sent off after he received his second yellow card of the match.
Moments later, Adam Jahn, striker for Atlanta, was subbed off and in came defender Edgar Castillo at the 35th minute.
United’s best goal scoring opportunities came in just before the end of the first half when a free kick by Pity Martinez was saved at the centre of the goal and then a shot at goal was by Castillo was deflected away by Cincy’s goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton.
Then, just seconds afterwards, Atlanta seemed to have its luck turn around after the ref signaled a penalty kick after Ezequiel Barco was fouled inside the 18-yard box. After VAR review, the referee changed his decision and decided there was not a penalty in the play.
After the goal by Amaya, Atlanta looked for the equalizer late in the match but failed to connect in the final third of the field.
With two minutes left in the match, JJ Williams received a red card after he committed a foul on Kendall Waston and Atlanta finished the match with nine players on the field.
United will play its last match of the group stage Tuesday night against Columbus Crew at 8 p.m.