Atlanta United held DC United to a 1-1 draw at Audi Field in Washington D.C., as both sides created chances throughout the game before ultimately leaving with a point.
Heading into the game, the Five Stripes were looking to carry over momentum from their emphatic 5-2 triumph over Inter Miami, while DC hopped to extend their unbeaten streak to four games to aid their playoff hopes.
Atlanta’s Giorgos Giakoumakis was inches away from scoring his 15th goal in his first season in MLS just three minutes into the match, but struck the woodwork. The visitors then found a breakthrough after a clever piece of defensive work from Tyler Wolff, but still nothing at either end.
Saba Lobzhanidze finally broke the deadlock, beating defender Donovan Pines to the ball inside the box before sending the shot past goalkeeper Alex Bono to secure the 1-0 lead.
It took D.C. United a bit to get back into the match, with the second half didn’t have much to offer in terms of entertainment up until the 60th minute mark.
The Black-and-Red sent in a flurry of shots toward Atlanta’s goal before one of the shots struck Luis Abram’s upper arm, forcing referee Lukasz Szpala to point to the penalty spot. But after a lengthy VAR review, the penalty attempt was taken off and Abram’s yellow card wiped away. The fans at Audi Field disagreed with Szpala’s decision, and Atlanta remained in front with a narrow 1-0 lead.
Finally, with 10 minutes left to play, the home side ended up securing the equalizing goal as Gabriel Pirani found the right angle inside Atlanta’s penalty area. And the goal had been coming for the Black-and-Red, and it could end up being a huge goal for their playoff chances down the road.
Atlanta remains in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 46 points, while DC also keep hold of the last playoff spot in the East in ninth place with 36 points.
GK: Brad Guzan – 7/10 – Didn’t have much to do in between the sticks early on, but pulled off some incredible long balls to kick-start attacks. Came up with a huge save late on that helped Atlanta earn a draw.
RB: Brooks Lennon – 6/10 – Had a quiet, yet solid showing after his dominant performance against Miami.
CB: Miles Robinson – 6.5/10 – Whiffed at a pass that nearly led to a DC equalizer, but rebounded with a strong performance for the rest of the game.
CB: Luis Abram – 6/10 – Gave away a senseless foul in a dangerous area early on, but improved as the game went on.
LB: Caleb Wiley – 6.5/10 – Another solid outing for the young full-back as he took on a more defensive role against DC.
DM: Tristan Muyumba – 6.5/10 – Was everywhere in the middle of the park for Atlanta, constantly looking to receive the ball and transition up the pitch.
DM: Ajani Fortune – 6/10 – The young midfielder had a few erratic touches/passes early on but got better as the game wore on.
RW: Saba Lobjanidze – 8/10 – The 28-year-old fits like a glove in Pineda’s system, and he was electric in the opening minutes and deservedly found the back of the net.
AM: Thiago Almada – 7/10 – Orchestrated nearly everything going forward for the Five Stripes without getting involved with a goal or assist.
LW: Tyler Wolff – 7/10 – Repaid Gonzalo Pineda’s faith in him by taking the ball of a DC player and sending in a perfect cross to give Atlanta the lead.
ST: Giorgos Giakoumakis – 6.5/10 – Outside of a couple of loose touches, he was solid and was unlucky to score inside the opening three minutes.
RW: Edwin Mosquera (59′ for Saba Lobjanidze) – 6/10 – Tried to make things happen in the final third but it just wasn’t to be.
LW: Xande Silva (59′ for Tyler Wolff) – 6.5/10 – Had a few good moments linking up with his teammates but it led to nothing on the scoresheet.
DM: Matheus Rossetto (72′ for Ajani Fortune) – 6/10 – Helped control the tempo of the game in the middle of the park.
CB: Juan Jose Purata (90′ for Giorgos Giakoumakis) – N/A
LW: Machop Chol (90′ for Tristan Muyumba) – N/A
Gonzalo Pineda – 7/10 – Picked a strong starting XI while also resting a few players, but it wasn’t enough for Atlanta to leave the nation’s capital with three points.
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