A late Andrew Carleton goal helps Atlanta United earn a draw

Atlanta United 2 fought back to earn a draw against the defending USL champions Louisville City FC 1-1 Saturday night in front of 4,135 fans at Coolray Field. Seventeen-year-old homegrown Andrew Carleton converted a 90′ penalty kick to equalize and allow ATL UTD 2 to remain unbeaten this season.

“For a lot of us, we’re a very young team so I thought we handled it well,” said Carleton. “Playing against the best team in the league and going down 1-0 in the second half is not easy to be able to battle back so I thought we responded really well and fought hard.”

Louisville produced more chances in the early going, outshooting Atlanta 14-2 in the first half. Nico Caraux, however, saved all three shots on frame during the first 45 minutes to keep Louisville at bay as both sides entered halftime in a scoreless tie. Caraux finished with a season-high six saves.

Atlanta adjusted in the second half and nearly took the lead in the 57th minute after Louisville conceded a penalty. Carleton flicked a backheel pass into the 18-yard box where Devon Sandoval ran on to the loose ball and was brought down. Carleton took the attempt, but his shot missed high.

Louisville regained momentum and broke the deadlock in the 66th minute. After a turnover in Atlanta’s defensive area, Devon Williams gathered the loose ball and passed it to Cameron Lancaster. He took one touch before firing a right-footed shot into the bottom left corner, past a diving Caraux to give Louisville a 1-0 lead.

ATL UTD 2 pushed for an equalizer and got its chance in the final minute of the match when Carleton drew a foul in the penalty area. In his second opportunity, Carleton buried his attempt low and to the left. It marked Carleton’s first professional goal of his career.

ATL UTD 2 (1-0-3, 6 points) returns to action Tuesday, April 24 against Charleston Battery at 7:00 p.m. at Coolray Field. The match will be streamed live on ESPN+.

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