Atlanta United win first ever U.S. Open Cup match against Charleston Battery 3-2

Atlanta United defeated Charleston Battery 3-2 on Wednesday night in front of 9,458 fans at Kennesaw State University’s Fifth Third Bank Stadium. After a 2-hour, 42-minute delay due to inclement weather, Atlanta prevailed with goals from Kevin Kratz, Josef Martinez and Brandon Vazquez to move into the Round of 16 in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Atlanta United has been placed in the South Region alongside Chicago Fire, Miami FC and FC Cincinnati. The official draw will take place Thursday, June 15 at 11 a.m.

“The positive was we found a way to get through it,” Atlanta United head coach Tata Martino said. “As a team, we didn’t play very well, but we were able to win due to our perseverance.”

Forrest Lasso gave Charleston the lead in the third minute off of a long throw-in. O’Brian Woodbine’s throw was deflected off of an Atlanta United defender before Lasso headed it home.

Atlanta equalized in the 30′ from Kevin Kratz after the midfielder buried a loose ball in the Charleston penalty area. After a deflection from Zach Loyd’s attempted cross, Kratz was able to drill his attempt to the near post for the goal.  But Charleston took the lead less than a minute later with Dante Marini ripping a shot on net that redirected off of Miles Robinson, leaving goalkeeper Alec Kann no chance. Charleston was then awarded a penalty in the 43′, however, Woodbine’s attempt was over the bar.

A pair of halftime substitutions made an immediate difference for Atlanta. Mikey Ambrose came on for Zach Loyd, while Mark Bloom moved from left back to right back. Additionally, Julian Gressel came on for Miles Robinson, which moved Jeff Larentowicz to center back. Almost immediately, Martinez equalized for Atlanta, scoring in the 48th minute after heading home a perfect cross from Brandon Vazquez.

Atlanta then took the lead in the 72′ minute with Vazquez hammering home a cross from Ambrose. The two teams traded scoring opportunities over the final 20 minutes, but Atlanta held on to win.

U.S. Soccer will conduct the Round of 16 Draw on Thursday, June 15 at 11 a.m. The Draw will be streamed live on U.S. Soccer’s Facebook Page and will set the bracket for the rest of the tournament, while also determining hosting scenarios for the Round of 16 and Quarterfinals.

Atlanta United returns to MLS action on Saturday, June 17 against Columbus Crew SC. Kickoff from Bobby Dodd Stadium is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and will be televised on FOX Sports Southeast.

 

LINE SCORE

Atlanta United 3, Charleston Battery 2

Fifth Third Bank Stadium

Kennesaw, Georgia

 

STATS

Shots: 21-14 Atlanta

Shots on Target: 6-2 Atlanta

Corner kicks: 7-3 Charleston

Fouls committed: 13-7 Atlanta

Saves: 3-0 Charleston

Clearances: 25-25

Offside: 1-1

Possession: 72-28 Atlanta

Passing Accuracy: 87-65 Atlanta

 

-Jon J.

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