FC Cincinnati 2 picked up an extra point at home Thursday night in a 1-1 draw against Atlanta United 2 at Scudamore Field at NKU Soccer Stadium. The Orange and Blue edged out Atlanta 3-2 in the shootout.
The result moves the Orange and Blue up to 10th in the Eastern Conference standings, while Atlanta drop one spot to seventh.
Atlanta United 2 wasted no time in finding the opening goal of the match, scoring in the second minute of play. Atlanta’s Raimar Rodrigues Lopes curled a free kick up and over Cincinnati’s wall from about 20 yards out, striking the crossbar and forcing Paul Walters into an attempted save.
The ball caromed off the crossbar and back into play, and Karim Tmimi cleaned up the play with a quick volley from inside the area and into the back of the net.
Bret Halsey created a half chance for the Orange and Blue in the 37th, minute forcing Vicente Reyes into an awkward save with his first shot of the match from just outside the box. Reyes couldn’t hold onto the attempt, but Atlanta was able to clear the danger and Cincinnati’s subsequent corner.
The first half ended with Atlanta up 1-0, even though the Orange and Blue controlled a majority of the attacking play following Tmimi’s opener and matched Atlanta with six shot attempts.
FC Cincinnati 2 opened the second half on the stronger foot, generating a dangerous chance in the 52nd minute. Halsey once again created the chance, dashing down the left side and sending a near perfect cross into the box intended for Ben Stitz.
Stitz run saw him into a bit of space behind the Atlanta defense but couldn’t get his head on the end of the cross.
Atlanta United were reduced to 10-men in the 59th minute following a foul from Erik Centeno and the resulting interaction with Jesus Castellano. The Orange and Blue took advantage, bringing the match level in the 74th minute.
Halsey again created the danger, sending a cross in towards Atlanta’s back post where Morgan Marshall was able to control in an advanced position inside the box. Marshall quickly played back across the face of goal and Stitz confidently headed home in front of net.
FC Cincinnati 2 kept the pressure up as they looked for the match winner but were unable to grab a second, and the game headed for a shootout. Walters was the shootout hero, making three saves while Stitz, Halsey and Ryder Mills converted on their attempts.
FC Cincinnati 2 close out a busy week of action this Sunday, May 28, as they face New York City FC II at Belson Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET.
FC CINCINNATI 2 GAME REPORT
FC Cincinnati 2 vs Atlanta United 2
Date: May 25, 2023
Competition: MLS NEXT Pro Regular Season
Venue: Scudamore Field at NKU Soccer Stadium
Kickoff: 7:03 p.m. ET
Weather: 70 degrees, clear
SCORING SUMMARY: 1-2-F
CIN – B. Stitz (M. Marshall) 73’
ATL – K. Tmimi 2’
CIN: P. Walters, B. Halsey, I. Foster (H. Conteh) 88’, K. Thomas, D. Garcia, M. Marshall, S. Adams, D. Turcios, G. Valenzuela (R. Mills, 46’), Castellano, Stitz
Substitutes not used: H. Morse, H. Conteh, M. Dreas, N. McHenry
Head Coach: Tyrone Marshall
ATL: V. Reyes, N. Orji, F. Adeniyi, E. Centeno, K. Twumasi, A. Carleton (S. Lanza, 61’), T. Tiente, R. Rodrigues Lopes (D. Mejía, 80’), L. Brennan, E. Firmino, K. Tmimi (M. Dejianne, 80’)
Substitutes not used: S. Guerra, E. Morales, S. Lanza, M. Dejianne, R. Okunlola, C. Sanchez
Head Coach: Steve Cooke
STATS SUMMARY: CIN/ATL
Shots: 13 / 10
Shots on Goal: 4 / 1
Saves: 0 / 3
Corner Kicks: 6 / 9
Fouls: 13 / 11
Offside: 1 / 2
Possession: 62.3 / 37.7
CIN – B. Halsey (Yellow card) 36’
ATL – E. Centeno (Red card) 59’
ATL – M. Dejianne (Yellow card) 81’
ATL – L. Brennan (Yellow card) 88’
Referee: DeShun Beard
Ast. Referees: Austin Holt, Zachary McWhorter
Fourth Official: Christopher Slane