FC Cincinnati 2

RECAP | FC Cincinnati 2 eliminated from playoff contention following 3-1 loss to Atlanta United 2

image-1920x1080 CINATL2

FC Cincinnati 2 suffered a 3-1 defeat to Atlanta United 2 Saturday in Kennesaw, Ga. at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. With the loss, FC Cincinnati 2 (7-14-4, 27 points) are officially eliminated from MLS NEXT Pro playoff contention. Atlanta (8-12-5, 30 points) remain alive in the playoff hunt with the win.

FC Cincinnati 2 were reduced to 10 men early in the match as defender Joey Akpunonu was shown straight red after fouling Machop Chol, who had controlled possession behind the Cincinnati defense after a long ball in from goalkeeper Clément Diop.

Karim Tmimi, who scored in the reverse fixture at Scudamore Field at NKU Soccer Stadium, capitalized on the man advantage in the 15th minute. Chol impacted the match once again, intercepting a Cincinnati pass inside the area and picking out Tmimi who was open in the middle of the box before the forward finished with ease.

Atlanta would double their lead in the 30th minute through Ajani Fortune’s first goal of the MLS NEXT Pro season. Fortune was able to capitalize and finish from a corner kick to see his side head into the break up 2-0.

Ben Stitz scored his seventh of the season in the 57th minute to pull one back for the Orange and Blue. Gerardo Valenzuela and Isaiah Foster created the chance, linking up before Foster sent a cross across the face of goal, taking a favorable Cincinnati deflection, and Stitz pounced rolling one past Diop.

Christopher Gloster became the second player on the night to be sent off after the Atlanta defender picked up his second yellow of the night in the 62nd minute.

Valenzuela struck the post in the 80th minute as the Orange and Blue looked for a late second half equalizer before Atlanta took their next attack down the field with Nick Firmino scoring Atlanta’s third, and final, goal of the night.

FC Cincinnati 2 stay on the road next weekend as they take on Inter Miami CF II on Sunday, Sept. 10 at DRV PNK Stadium. The match will stream live on MLSNEXTPro.com with kickoff set for 6 p.m. ET.

FC Cincinnati 2 at Atlanta United 2
Date: September 2, 2023
Venue: Fifth Third Bank Stadium
Competition: MLS NEXT Pro regular season
Kickoff: 5:03 p.m. ET
Weather: 82 degrees, clear

ATL: 2-1-3
CIN: 0-1-1

ATL – K. Tmimi (M. Chol) 15’, A. Fortune 30’, N. Firmino (J. Conway) 81’
CIN – B. Stitz 57’

ATL: C. Diop, C. Gloster, K. Twumasi, N. Cobb, S. Lanza, T. Tiente, A. Fortune (A. Carleton, 61’), L. Brennan, N. Firmino (R. Ritarita, 90’+3), M. Chol (J. Conway, 46’), K. Tmimi (F. Adeniyi, 68’)

Substitutes not used: J. Graces, M. Gallardo, C. Sanchez, E. Nwogu, D. Mejía, R. Ritarita

Head Coach: Steve Cooke

CIN: P. Walters, I. Foster, J. Machado, J. Akpunonu, L. Aghedo, K. Thomas (H. Conteh, 90’+5) , L. Tamarez (P. Horton, 46’), S. Adams, G. Valenzuela, B. Stitz, J. Castellano

Substitutes not used: H. Morse, J. Mora, M. Schenfeld, N. McHenry

Head Coach: Tyrone Marshall

Shots: 18 / 13
Shots on goal: 5 / 5
Saves: 4 / 2
Corner Kicks: 2 / 5
Fouls: 15 / 14
Offside: 0 / 0
Possession: 62.7 / 37.3

CIN – J. Akpunonu (Red card) 3’
ATL – C. Gloster (Yellow card) 34’
CIN – G. Valenzuela (Yellow card) 34’
ATL – T. Tiente (Yellow card) 36’
ATL – C. Gloster (Yellow card, red card) 68’
ATL – A. Carleton (Yellow card) 72’

Referee: Laura Rodriguez
Ast. Referees: Jarred Mosher, Jonathan Smith
Fourth Official: Amin Hadzic